by R Solerno, contemporary (2009)
Playful Reality, $9.96, ISBN N/A
Sexy Killers is a collection of stories featuring women who kill for one reason or the other. Always interested in stories featuring women who kick rear ends, I pick this one up without hesitation. I have to say, though, this book ends up being not what I expected at all.
I was initially expecting something similar to noir stories, with exhilarating portrayal of unapologetic villainous women, but what I get instead is heavy-handed and even preachy stories all carrying messages about how you shouldn't mess with women or you will get burned. And these women more often than not are either villains or heroines who are forced to retaliate violently when their backs are against the wall. Therefore, there is still an element of morality here, one that I feel bogs down the stories into a predictable rut since I soon can predict correctly early in each story how it will turn out in the end.
This collection of stories could have been tightened up a little bit more. Too many characters speak in a stilted manner, their conversations coming off like rather contrived methods by the author to fill in the reader with background details of the story. The author also has a tendency to have his characters over-explain things and even repeat unnecessarily a point in his stories. The end result is that everyone ends up speaking as if he or she is Ming the Conqueror. Here is an example:
"You believe you'll get away with destroying my life, Mary? You probably believe that crazy bitch was right to treat me like shit. You're just like her. You're agreeing with her, and you believe she everything she did was fine."
"No, Jake. I believe she made a lot of mistakes. She treated many people in deviant ways. She made a lot of mistakes. But if you come any closer to me, you'll be making a mistake."
He laughed. "I don't believe you'll shoot me. You won't do it."
He stepped closer.
She pulled the trigger.
"You really did it. You shot me, bitch. I was trying to figure out how to solve all these devastating problems, and you found the solution for me, Mary. You're good at your profession. You really did solve my problems. Thank you." He landed on the carpet, close to her.
The above scene could have made been a better impact if the two characters involved in that scene didn't speak like they are in a bad soap opera.
Sexy Killers is still a readable collection despite the technical flaws in the story, but it could have been so much better if these flaws aren't so noticeable. There are some good ideas here, so it's the technical aspect of the craft that is the issue here. All things considered, this is a decent attempt for a self-published effort, although I'm sure the author could have taken more steps to polish this one up before releasing it for public consumption.
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