"Francetta Repays Her Debt To Society," by Susan Oleksiw, in Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine, October 2014.
I thought long and hard before choosing a story for this week. I find this one problematic, as I will explain, but it reached the top of the pile.
As the story opens Francetta is getting out of prison after six months. We see her dealing with some people, one way or another, and making some, shall we say, life choices.
Oleksiw has decided, in this story at least, that less is more. She tells you as little as she can and makes you work out the rest.
For example, a friend gives Francetta some prescription drugs. She then walks out of the building and a policeman promptly searches her, finding nothing. "Something missing, Officer?"
From this we know: 1) the friend was no friend, 2) at least some of the cops in this town are on the take, and 3) Francetta already knew 1) and 2) and ditched the drugs accordingly.
But none of that is stated in the story. You have to figure it out, and that can be problematic. There is a scene near the end where I am still not sure how many characters were present. But it is a good story, with a satisfying ending.
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