Table of Contents

Summer 2008

From The Editor

Letter from Sandra Ruttan

Short Stories

Amra Pajalic

The Game

The Old Man

The Vow

The Other Shoe

Patrick Shawn Bagley

Bank Job

John McFetridge

Overtime

Russel D. McLean

Her Cheating Heart

Steve Mosby

Fruits

Grant McKenzie

Out Of Order

Patricia Abbott

Pox

Leaving

Damien Seaman

Love In Vain

Ugly Duckling

Steve Allan

Hump The Stump

Stumpy's Revenge

You and Me and Stumpy Makes Three

Stephen D. Rogers

Head Shot

Richard Cooper

Simmer Time

Sandra Seamans

Predatory

Allan Guthrie

Freckles

Brian Lindenmuth

Gun

Tony Black

London Calling

Brian McGilloway

Spoonfull of Sugar

Interview

Damien Seaman with Tony Black

Reviews by:

Sandra Ruttan

Savage Night

The Cold Spot

Brian Lindenmuth

Kockroach

The Crimes of Dr. Watson

Half the Blood of Brooklyn

Crimson Orgy

Mad Dogs

The Resurrectionist

Sharp Teeth

Lawrence

Black Man

Tricia

Hip Flask: Concrete Jungle

Chadwick

At the City's Edge

Amber

Small Favor

Madhouse

Book Excerpts

Toros & Torsos
by Craig McDonald

Paying For It
by Tony Black

Dirty Sweeet
by John McFetridge

Feature

The Graveyard Shift: blog by Lee Ofland

Chadwick reviews: At the City's Edge by Marcus Sakey

Full Review

My one complaint about this novel is that when you boil his plots down to their simplest elements you feel that you have read them before. Sakey seems to enjoy playing with the tried and true plot devices of crime fiction. In At the City’s Edge, discharged soldier Jason Palmer returns to Chicago from Baghdad to be caught up in the conspiracy the killed his brother.

Sakey deftly builds his novels around a series of character moments and interactions. They weave themselves together to become much more than the “soldier back from the war.” The most significant of these “little things” is how Sakey writes the characters of Jason Palmer and his nephew Billy. Sakey has shown how Jason’s desire for revenge impacts the shell-shocked Billy. And when Jason realizes how selfish he has been, how he has been avoiding his responsibilities as an uncle to play at being a soldier again and how he must now be uncle and more to an orphaned boy, it is one of the most powerful scenes I have read in any fiction.

Jason is a believable, though not entirely sympathetic protagonist, a competent soldier who never quite tumbles over the cliff into action movie cliché, but it is Elena Cruz, the Latina cop who really shines through. Elena has as many strong moments as Jason, and is in many ways, a more relatable character. The rest of Sakey’s Chicago is populated by a racially diverse crowd that never seems shoehorned in, or assembled by committee.
At the City’s Edge will blister your fingers as it keeps you up late into the night, but unlike most quick reads, its subtleties will linger with you far longer. Sakey is a growing talent, whose stories live up to their hype and
reviews.