Sunday, August 28, 2016
A Paler Shade of Death, by Laura Benedict
This may the grimmest story I ever chose as my best of the week. Nothing jolly here, folks.
Becca is moving to a duplex because her husband has a restraining order out against her. Seems she threw some tea cups at him, among other things.
Their son died a few years ago and they have recovered at different paces, which leads to tension. That can happen after a tragedy.
But there are rumors flying around the neighborhood that the child's death was not an accident. And Becca is drinking a lot. Plus there is a little boy who keeps following her around, a few years older than her own son would have been. What's that all about?
I sometimes complain that the editors of the Akashic Noir series forget that it isn't enough just to be depressing; the stories need crime as well. No worries here; Benedict is not afraid to get her characters' hands dirty. If you like your fiction grim, I recommend it.