Review: Shutterbug by Daniel I. Russell

Monday, January 21, 2008

Shutterbug by Daniel I. Russell
Wild Child Publishing
Ebook (.pdf): 78 pages

Daniel I. Russell's Shutterbug is a readable novella. After perverted photographer Harry Beacon rapes fifteen-year-old Jess Stevenson, then murders her mother, Jess must rebuild her life with her best friend Kerry, her father, who is troubled by memory loss, and boyfriend Dean. Beacon is locked away, yet from his prison cell he seems able to reach out to the now-eighteen-year-old Jess, and threaten every wall she has built against the pain he caused. Nowhere--not even in her own bed--is she safe from intrusive photography.

Beginning with Jess's mother's point of view, the story jars when it changes to Jess's pov after her mother's death. A gap of some years is glossed, and it almost feels as if the story is starting all over again. This is perhaps a case where the judicious use of flashbacks might have helped the story flow more smoothly. Motivations are rarely explored, making the story feel superficial at times.

Russell doesn't flinch from the more visceral details concerning the rape, but succeeds in not eroticising them. The scene where Jess's mother is waiting to confront Beacon is truly painful, as she observes a young girl who may be another victim being forced to apologise to her abuser.

Russell does a decent job of building suspense, but the plot covers well-worn ground that will be familiar to many readers. While it's possible to guess who's behind the attacks on Jess, it's probably better to relax and enjoy the ride.

Note: a print-out of the novella was reviewed.

- reddit, digg, facebook, stumbleupon, etc... please! ;)
posted by Debbie

11 comments; 0 subscribers

Tuesday, January 22, 2008 / 13:09:52
To win a .pdf of Shutterbug, let us know in comments how you feel about being photographed. Love it, hate it?

We'll choose a winner at random from the valid entries received. Contest open to everyone in the world! and closes on 22nd February (midnight pacific time).
Tuesday, January 22, 2008 / 17:30:16
Hate it. It steals bits of my soul.
Thursday, January 24, 2008 / 14:24:38
I hate it. I don't look very good in photo's...I look much better is person.
Friday, January 25, 2008 / 07:41:47
Friday, January 25, 2008 / 11:38:46
I hate having my picture taken and as a teacher, I get to have school photos taken each and every year
Friday, January 25, 2008 / 17:21:00
I hate it, why is it so much worse in picture than in a mirror?
Sunday, January 27, 2008 / 16:36:16
I like to be photographed even though I am not very photogenic. I am the official photoghapher in the family so am very rarely in any photo
Tuesday, January 29, 2008 / 04:03:10
it depends on the lighting, if it's dim lighting then i look amazing and i don't mind, but if it's like fluorescent light then you better put that camera away before i knock it out of ur hands, hahaha!
Monday, February 11, 2008 / 18:06:50
Funny that most people hate having their pictures taken. I like it; I guess I just don't worry too much about how I look. I like the idea that I was somewhere at sometime and there's a record of that. Or maybe I'm just vain...
Thursday, February 14, 2008 / 18:46:11
I only look good when naked.
Sunday, February 24, 2008 / 14:54:48
Hmm, seems like a lot of you feel you belong on the other side of the camera--just like me!

The randomly-chosen winner is weblynx. Congrats!

Do you have a comment? Log in or Register; registration is quick, painless, free, and spam-free (unless you ask for it)