I'd like to welcome Chris, who's the first to join me in this new feature...
Chris Rhatigan's Crime Fiction Choice.
Too Beautiful by Patricia Abbott - in the winter issue of Dark Valentine Magazine.
If you haven’t checked out Dark Valentine yet, you’re missing out. This newish quarterly is always packed full of top shelf short fiction and gorgeous, colorful art.
Patti Abbott is known as one of the best crime fiction short story writers around right now and Too Beautiful highlights her many talents. The story concerns the perfectionist ice queen, Natalie, and her thoughtful, neurotic husband, Paul. They have a complicated relationship, which appears to be heading south when Natalie falls off a train platform and is killed. Or did she fall? Or was she pushed?
Instead of taking the tried-and-true whodunit track, Abbott primarily deals with Paul’s reaction to his wife’s death. (Don’t want to give away too much more, as there are a couple of a nice surprises in here.) This proves to be a perfectly paced, well-plotted piece with convincing characters and a satisfying conclusion. It’s everything a short story should be.
Chris Rhatigan is a writer based in Iowa City, who reviews crime fiction and blogs at Death by Killing.