Showing posts with label DePoy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label DePoy. Show all posts

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Mary's Shallow Grave, by Phillip DePoy

"Mary's Shallow Grave," by Phillip DePoy, in Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine, July/August 2014.

If I am reading the editor's note correctly, this is intended to be the first in a series.  I look forward to the next. 

It's 1975 and the state of Florida has hired our narrator, Foggy, to operate Child Protective Services (for the whole state?  I hope not.).  And he shows up at the bar with the unprepossessing name that gives the story it's title, to tell the cook that his ex-wife in in a coma, her boyfriend is dead, and his eleven-year-old daughter is on the run.

That part of Florida had always been to me, the land of people who gave up.  They piled empty cardboard boxes on the front porch, rolled the broken fridge out onto the lawn; always thought it was too hot to paint the house.  And the flies didn't come in if you just put a piece of plastic over that tear in the screen.  Maybe it was the heat.  Even in October they could get days in the nineties.

There is stolen money, crooked cops, a wealthy Indian with nefarious plans, and a bunch of people using assorted ill-advised self-medication plans.  If there is any hope for an eleven-year-old girl in this mess it is going to have to be carved out of extra-legal maneuvers and deals with assorted devils. 

Fortunately, Foggy is up to the challenge. 

Sunday, March 24, 2013

The Dead Man's Daughter, by Phillip DePoy

"The Dead Man's Daughter," by Phillip DePoy, in Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine, April 2013.

I 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.)

I 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...