Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Kindle Review: MONKEY JUSTICE, BY PATTI ABBOTT
In crime fiction, we see a lot of variations on staple characters. Grifters, killers, professional thieves, gamblers, corrupt cops, losers. And that’s all well and good, but…
Those aren’t, generally, the characters Patti Abbott gives us. Instead, the central players in Abbott’s stories are: your next door neighbor. The girl you work with at the office. Your mother. The clerk at your supermarket. Patti Abbott’s characters, in other words, are you and me.
The stories in MONKEY JUSTICE are intricate sometimes, multi-layered, and psychologically profound. They are character-driven pieces with central themes in common, most notably the idea of family and the hurt that comes with it.
Secrets. Lies. Melancholy. Betrayal. Those four Cardinal Virtues of Noir slither through each tale in MONKEY JUSTICE just like the fabled Biblical serpent, linking them together with dry scales.
These stories manage to be deeply emotional and devastating without ever resorting to sentimentality or predictable shlock. They are mature and stoic in the face of loss and bitter disappointment.
On a more practical note, Abbott fills this e-book to the brim. She could just as easily, for the price, split the volume into two separate collections and no one would have complained. Instead, she chooses to give the reader MORE than their money’s worth. I’m grateful for that, because after I’d read the last story I found myself in the unusual position of wanting another one. Reading Pati Abbott could very well become an addiction.
MONKEY JUSTICE is a collection of truly original, literary glimpses into the lives of ordinary, messed-up people, and one of the strongest collections of the year.