The latest collection of eight stories edited by Todd Robinson features the noir tales one expects from the Thuglit series. Whether it be fate that puts these characters in bad situations, bad decisions as that simplistic Facebook meme that some folks must unthinkingly share week in and week out, or just being in the wrong place at the wrong time, many of these characters are not living, working, or even walking down the sunny side of the street. Heck, they can’t even see the sunny side of the street from where they live.
Though you would think the first couple in the opening story would have some idea since they pretty much are living the dream financial security wise. “The Opposite of Bonnie and Clyde” by Kevin Garvey features a young power couple who are driven to be the opposite of the legendary bank robbing duo simply because they share the same last names. It is the wife’s idea as Madison Clyde is convinced they could successfully rob a New York bank and has a multi-page business plan detailing how to do it. Since she is a VP at a bank the plan is as meticulous as possible. Tyler Bonnie isn’t as taken with the idea as wifey is in the beginning.
In “Grenoble” by Edward Hagelstein, Ruben Caro has lived in a RV the last three years. 54 years old with no real pressing business he drifts south for the winter months and north from the summer months and avoids thinking about his past. He actively works at it until his estranged wife, Carole, sends him an email asking him to call her. Morning in New Mexico means evening in Paris and she had a very good reason for wanting Ruben to call.
Running a taco truck in New York City is no easy feat. This is especially true when crap keeps sabotaging your hard working efforts in “Confessions Of A Taco Truck Owner” by Rob Hart. As a certain anchor is known to say “Boy… That escalated quickly.”
Cinco Putas Medico is a hideously bad place and Mr. O’ Shaunessey has many reasons to regret taking the recovery job in “Good Luck In Puertos Del Oro” by Justin Porter. He was supposed to get himself down to this worthless area in South America and find a missing archeologist who is supposed to have an artifact for his client, Mr. Debonaire. For the recovery the client will pay him an unspecified amount of money via PayPal as that is the easiest way to do it these days. One of a number of amusing little points in this very twisted story.
A shooter is at work “The Termination” by Leon Marks. For this Iraq war veteran the area at home is turning into a battlefield.
It is a foggy Kansas evening at a seedy motel as “The Hard Sell” by J. R. Sinisi begins. The motel has been a site for a murder case one which made the headlines and folks still talk about so one knows the place is not a location for good things or above board business meetings. Connie Merchant, Tate Purbin, and Franny are there to consummate the deal. That deal may make them some money, get them killed, or both.
The pain of others has a special significance in “Suicide Chump” by T. Maxim Simmler. Thanks to hindsight it is easy to see where things began to go wrong. Simon explains all in this tale from merry old England where many are not merry at all.
The pain of a person is also part of the next story titled “The Hurt Business” by Mike Miner. As in the previous story, the psychological pain is important when Frankie Long Legs come to collect the debt. Legs has a special talent for getting the job done as he learned his skills via his dad.
These short books consistently deliver noir style stories that work on all levels. As always, while the small snippets above give you a spoiler free idea of what the tale is about far more is going on than mentioned here. In each tale there is plenty of complicated backstory and other storylines at work as the read takes you around the world to a variety of settings. The latest in a long line of Thuglit series books, Thuglit Issue 12 is another good one where things are often not remotely what they seem and end in unexpected ways. Humor is a rarity, but when it appears it hits with venom as the authors involved weave noirish style of mystery and redemption.
Thuglit Issue 12
Editor: Todd Robinson
ISBN # 978-1500269227
E-Book (Print also available)
Material purchased by this reviewer via funds in his Amazon Associate account for use in an objective review.
Kevin R. Tipple ©2014