When I pop up to talk to my daughter at her job I always check the marked down bin of books. She’d already clocked out but I picked up a real gem called Dangerous Women. A heavy volume of short stories, it features well-known writers including Lev Grossman, Diana Gabaldon and George R.R. Martin. The second one in is Either My Heart Is Broken by Megan Abbott.

I think writing short stories is harder than writing books. It’s also easier because you’re finished in a relatively short time. What makes them difficult to pen is trying to condense all you want the reader to experience in less time.

Ms. Abbott pulled me into her tale told by a husband whose toddler has gone missing. At first his wife, Lorie, has the sympathy of neighbors, family, the police and public. After a few weeks the focus has changed to one of suspicion and intense scrutiny. I’m thinking, Uh huh. Classic case of former wild child grown weary of motherhood. She gets a tattoo, Mirame Quemar, on her hip and is photographed on cell phones dancing at bars.

Is the little girl dead? Is Lorie innocent? Will the husband get a clue? Make no assumptions here. The end took me by surprise and goosebumps popped up. I must read more by this author. It reminded me of the kind of writer I’d like to be, the kind of writing I doubt I’ll ever crank out. She’s concise, crafty in her build-up and put me right in the head of the characters.

You can get more info on the writer of crime noir at meganabbott.com

#dangerouswomen, #meganabbott, #crimenovels

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