The Joker is a thought provoking short story by Georgia Rose. It is a prequel to her Grayson Trilogy and as such works whether you’ve read the other stories or not. If you haven’t it’s a tantalising taster for what’s to come. If you have then it’s an insight into a very likeable, supporting character.
Will Carlton appears in all three novels and on the surface is a bit of a Jack the lad. Rose uses this short story, however, to give Will a voice. She cleverly does this by almost creating a stream of consciousness. There are no speech marks in the story as everything, including dialogue, is told from Will’s point of view.
Rose sensitively uses Will to highlight the plight of service men and women. Will has returned from war physically intact but his mental health has been shattered. Rather than seek help, Will tries to distract himself from his problems by engaging in hedonistic behaviour which is ultimately damaging him further.
I really enjoyed this short story and loved the fact that it ends more or less where A Single Step (the first novel in the trilogy) starts. It’s a quick read and I can’t recommend it highly enough. I guarantee it will make you want to read on.