Sunday, April 1, 2018
The Wedding Ring, by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
This is Rusch's sixth appearance on this site.
I try to treat all my little darlings equally, rooting the same for every story I read but I admit that sometimes a concept or opening is so strong I find myself cheering the author on: Keep going! Don't screw this up!
Rusch didn't screw it up. Here is the concept I liked so much: Serena is a classics professor and after a bad breakup she goes to Las Vegas for what she calls her Liberation Vacation. There she meets the man of her dreams. Shortly after that they are married. Shortly after that he disappears, taking her cash, self-confidence, and so much more.
One cop says about the crooks: "They're not in it for the money. They're in it to destroy their marks."
Serena replies. "They didn't destroy me... I'm right here. And I'm going to destroy them right back." To do that all she has to do is become a completely different person. Hell hath no fury, and all that...
There's a lot of thoughtful detail in this novella. For example: the title does not refer to a piece of jewelry. Or consider the name: Serena. Or the final moniker the bad guy chooses. (It tolls for thee, baby.)