on May 8, 2011 :
A couple of weeks ago, I got a Facebook offer which I couldn't refuse, from Linda L. Richards, editor of January Magazine and a contributing editor of The Rap Sheet. Through a smart new electronic publisher called Smashwords, Linda was asking if I'd like to receive a free copy of her new short story, Hitting Back.
I'd read and enjoyed Richards' books about former stockbroker Madeline Carter, especially Mad Money. It is one of the few mystery series which manage to make the world of business as fascinating as the crimes therein.
But Hitting Back is something else again -- an absolutely perfect (except I want a whole book!) look at the life of a professional hit woman. Spare, cool and totally convincing, it tells the story of a cypher ("Did you notice? -- you never learn her name or where she's from. A complete shadow figure, yet I'm fairly confident I'll spend time in her company again…" says Richards in her notes) turned into a human being in a few short passages.
Not to spoil your reading pleasure, but here's one quote which caught my attention early on: "I reach into my purse. It is Coach -- authentic Coach, not something you'd buy on Canal Street -- and my fingers touch the cold skin of my thirty-eight. It's a Bersa Thunder, considered to be a good gun for a woman…"
(reviewed 22 days after purchase)
on April 10, 2011 :
Linda, If I hadn't known better I'd have thought I was reading Hemingway. "Hitting Back" is clean, concise and bristling with page-turning suspense. I'm going right after I file this review to purchase Mad Money, and I look forward to The Next Ex.
(reviewed the day of purchase)