Sweeper opens the collection with the story of Donald “Sweeper” Henderson. A mentally challenged young man, Donald’s job is to sweep the streets of his village’s shopping district, a task in which he takes much pride. This particular Christmas season finds Sweeper a bit distracted, however, leading to a practical joke which goes horribly wrong.
Maw’s Jewelry is proof that it’s a good thing criminals aren’t too bright. When Beeny and Jango decide to play things “smart” and take a shortcut to getting Beeny’s maw’s jewelry back from the pawn shop, they get a lot more – and less – than they bargained for.
Saying Goodbye is a both an amusing and disturbing look at two young siblings’ experience at their grandmother’s wake, while Ferry Late is the tale of a family which unfortunately chooses to go on holiday to precisely the wrong place at exactly the wrong time.
Hard As Nails and Fragile Bones feature McDroll’s wonderful signature character, Gemma, a young policewoman constantly striving to do her job and prove herself in a male dominated profession. With a wicked streak a mile wide, a sense of humor sharp enough to cut to the bone, and keen instincts as an officer Gemma never disappoints. She really needs her own novel, and I’m looking forward to the day that happens.
The outstanding Frozen In Time rounds out the collection with the story of a sadistic teacher ripped right from the lyrics of Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall.” When one young student decides he’s had it with the teacher’s iron rule – and leather strap – it signals a change from which there will be no going back.
Packed from start to finish with dark humor, wry observations, and a healthy dose of Scottish flavor, Kick It With Conviction is a tight collection of stories that will undoubtedly entertain you on the surface, but which will also have you going back and thinking a bit deeper about more than a few of them.