"The Dead Man's Daughter," by Phillip DePoy, in Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine, April 2013.
have to say this is an unusually good issue, which makes it hard to
choose favorites. (Yes, I know I have a story in it; even barring that, it's full of good stuff.)
don't think I've ever encountered Mr. DePoy before. Apparently some of
his twelve novels are about the protagonist of this tale, Fever
Devilin, a laid-off professor of folklore who has resettled in his
parent's old home in the hills of Appalachia.
And a creepy story it is.
There is a place in it called Devil's Hearth, and an apparent ghost, but it turns out the really
creepy elements are living people. At the start Devilin is shot at by a
backwoods preacher who seems quite unperturbed to be shooting at the
man on his own property. Then there is a teenage girl who is quite
content that her miserable and abusive father was killed years before.
And finally there is someone wandering around outside the cabin at the
place called Devil's Hearth.
I think what made this
story stand out in a good batch is a particularly brutal line of dialog
at the very end. Talk about noir...