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The latest publication by a writing group to adorn my shelves is Delayed Reaction, the work of the Just Write writing group from Amersham in Bucks. This collection of short stories is ingeniously put together: they all take place on the 15-08 train from King’s Cross to York, which comes to a halt because of a broken-down train ahead of it. It sits in the Cambridgeshire countryside for over an hour. Delayed ReactionThe delay materially affects the lives of the protagonists of the 10 stories – some for the better, some …

They are free-standing stories but some characters appear in more than one.   Why is the Essex boy banker so agitated and so concerned with his briefcase? Why is the woman sitting opposite him so unhappy, and why does she ask his advice on how to commit fraud? What have the expensively clad businesswoman and the slatternly dressed woman in flip-flops got to say to each other? Will the 16-year-old schoolgirl finally change into the frilly pink dress she hates so much? Why for the young man could the delay be literally a matter of life and death?

Leave the last story to last, is my advice. Talk about a twist in the tail …

The writing group must have had a lot of fun at the meetings where they worked out how their characters interlocked!

Delayed Reaction is produced in aid of the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity. ISBN 978-0-9931222-2-4 RRP paperback £6-99 e-book £5-99   Go to http://www.delayedreaction.org.uk/ for purchase details and other details about the Just Write group.