This short story story has everything but the kitchen sink thrown in. It's like Phillip Marlowe and Fox Maulder had a love child that played at Michael Moorcock's house in the multiverse while riding in H.G. Wells time machine. If that hasn't put a hurt on your brain yet, just stick around for more. The love child of Fox and Phillip is actually our protagonist named Inspector Mole. Getting close to retirement, he works all the weird and inexplicable cold case files for the government. When he's not on an active case, they have him recording his memoirs for posterity, because some of this stuff is too weird to believe.
We open our story by Mole reminiscing about a strange case where a toddler wanted to kill the President in the past, so he and his boss,the General,jump into a land yacht, but its a time machine programmed to intercept the toddler before the deed is done. The General puts Mole up at a beautiful hotel. The next morning he meets the General to plan strategy - it seems the General wants the toddler to succeed because in this reality after the Presidents were gone, the Generals took everything over, and they like it that way. If the President were to survive, who knows what would happen,or if elections would continue - the General can't risk it! So instead of stopping the toddler killer, they must make sure the toddler gets her man. Mole is confused - help a killer? But he's an Inspector! He solves murders, not helps commit them, but if he doesn't do this, he's the one who'll be killed - literally! When they get to the scene, the President is dead, the toddler is gone and they didn't have to anything. The General is happy as they climb back into their land yacht time machine for the trip home. And that's just an appetizer for the main attraction in this story which involves: dead Monarch butterflies, alternate universes, a dude who thinks he's clever, named Arab "Cricket" Jones, murder on a talkshow, some bad a$$ criminals, two "lighters" that send you to the next alternate universe, murder in a forest with that same person watching and screaming from behind a tree, soul possession, twin soul policemen, and a whole lot more.
This story brings up some really fascinating questions. If I kill someone in reality A and we both go to reality B where they're still alive, has there been a murder? What happens to you when you go from reality A to reality B? Are there two of you? Can you coexist? Is one of you dominant, the other submissive? And what about your souls - what happens to them? Can one get trapped inside the body of the dominant one? All these questions and more get answered by this intriguing story.
The characterization in the story follws two main characters: Inspector Mole, our protagonist and Arab "Cricket" Jones, our antagonist, they couldn't be more polar opposites if you stuck them on different ends of the globe. Mole is hard-boiled, tough,enjoys the small things in life, is kind to his associates, goal oriented, believes in justice, hunts down bad guys and put them away. Where Jones is arrogant, smarmy, thinks he's clever, thinks he's smarter than everyone else, loves to manipulate people, kills people, thinks he's a bad a$$. The author did an amazing job of making these two characters, through their actions and their dialogue - literally spring to life in this short story. Though the prose is sparse and the action quick, you feel that you know these two characters - even though you only like one.
The ending of the story is classic. You have to sit and think about it for a few minutes to get all the ramifications. In the end, it's very satisfying. One simple sentence was all it took to make worlds come tumbling down. That's how great short stories should end, with a bang disguised as a whimper.
I would recommend this story to anyone whose looked up into the starry sky and said "I wonder if...". I would also recommend this story to all fans of sci-fi and fantasy, as well as the X Files. Lets throw in fans of crime dramas too. This one's a genre buster, there's no doubt in my mind. You can find it on Smashwords, it's free. You'd be ridiculous not to go and get it. Read it on your computer, your smartphone, your tablet, your laptop if you don't have an an e-reader.
(review of free book)