Today’s book review of a single short story is brought to you by yours truly, Morgen Bailey. If you’d like your book reviewed or to send me a book review of another author’s book, see book-reviews for the guidelines. Other options listed on opportunities-on-this-blog.
Dead End by Craig Faustus Buck
Synopsis: In his Anthony Award nominated short story “Dead End”, author Craig Faustus Buck introduces Johno Beltran, a former homicide detective who fell from grace when a stupid mistake allowed a rich, sadistic sex killer to go free. This story begins four years after the trial with Johno now living out of his car and working as a parking attendant at a celebrity haunt called Kama Sushi. One night, the man who got away with murder, wealthy plastic surgeon Dr. Luke Vico, drives into the Kama Sushi lot and Johno is forced to park his $100,000 car. The humiliating reunion leads Johno down a dark, twisty road toward a deadly collision between paranoia and reality.
The noir suspense thriller novella, Psycho Logic, picks up where “Dead End” leaves off. Alyssa Lido lives down the beach from Dr. Vico. She meets Johno as a result of his ill-fated clash with the infamous killer. The sexual voodoo between Johno and Alyssa is powerful, her marriage to her former psychiatrist notwithstanding. Alyssa suspects her husband, who once treated her for paranoia, of manipulating some of his more vulnerable patients for sex. When a porn star patient is found dead, Johno is convinced that the shrink killed her to cover up his sex-crimes and that Alyssa is next on his hit list. As events spiral out of control, Johno and Alyssa are sucked into a vortex of blackmail, pornography, torture, betrayal, vengeance, love, guilt, passion, murder, muscle cars and valet parking.
This short story is available (with the follow-up novella) via http://www.amazon.com/Dead-End-Psycho-Logic-nominated/dp/1501047728 and http://www.amazon.co.uk/Dead-End-Psycho-Logic-nominated/dp/1501047728.
Review (using the Kindle’s text-to-speech function)
As we should be with short stories, we’re thrown in at the action; where the disgraced detective meets his nemesis.
We’re shown the nemesis to be a nasty piece of work by how he’s treating his current companion and then our detective, Beltran, reveals why he is where he is, and we can’t help but feel sorry for him.
When Beltran finds a potential piece of evidence, instinct takes over and we follow him as he tries to restore justice.
The story itself is left on an “ooh” cliff-hanger which, I’m sure, leads nicely on to the novella that the Kindle version of this short precedes.
Description is excellent, and phrases I liked included ‘black-and-blue sash starts to bloom on my chest’, although ‘Einstein gave us his own key’ lost me.
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