People seem to be using the word macabre when describing this story. I guess maybe I just see things differently. The English major in me wants to point out a few flaws within the editing of the book, but that's all relatively minor as it doesn't take away from the over all story. While there are a few punctuation issues, you can still figure out what the writer was saying. There are a couple of areas where words appear to be reversed by accident, but again, the story still flowed well enough to not lose you. In a way, i feel the story could have been a little better. The author does well at the beginning in hooking you with the introduction, but by the last few chapter in the selection, I found myself losing interest. That was one other issue I felt was added, but not really needed in this story. I've noticed a lot of modern writers tend to break down scenes or instances into separate chapters far too often. In some cases, I have seen chapters as small as 150 words which in a short story seems rather ridiculous. Still, in this instance, you forgive the writer for this because the story does still do what it intends to do which is hook the reader and get you to finish the story.
One other issue I found with the story was some confusion I ran into as far a past and presentence. I will admit that this is my was simply my grammar police mind talking and again, the issues were minimal and you forgive the author for this. I know it seems I am focusing on the negatives here so here are some positives.
The story is presented by what feels, at first, to be a somewhat overly descriptive narrative, but after a handful of paragraphs, you are relieved that the writer decides to take a simpler approach to the telling of the story which gives it a more realistic feel. So often these days I see stories that come off as pretentious and offer far more description than what is usually needed. Often, those stories remind me of works from the 19th century when I found that so often, authors felt the need to burden the reader with an abundance of detail instead of letting their own minds fill in the gaps. In this work, Bettes allows you just enough room to let your mind wonder which makes this much more fun to read.
You sort of see the ending coming, but you don't mind all that much. While I would have written the ending a little differently, I could see where the author was coming from and what she was trying to get across. She looks at the world the way that it really is when you break down all the bureaucratic nonsense, revealing what is essentially a mob mentality. It makes you think about how people, knowing nothing of a case, can instantly believe that a person is guilty of a crime simply based on a few random facts, spoon fed to them by an authority figure.
While this wasn't the most incredible thing in the world to read, it does hold your attention for the duration, and if you take the time to really think about it, you begin to wonder just how often this sort of thing really happens. You may not hear about it on the news all that often...but then again, maybe you do. That being said, I do look forward to reading more of Bettes work so I can see exactly how she grows from here. 3.3 / 5 stars.
(review of free book)