Friday, December 03, 2004

No Heroics

"No Heroics" by David Cox, Thrilling Detective, Hollidays, 2004

I like Malloy, a no nonsense bruiser with a soft spot -- on his head. I also like Mr. Cox's way with words: "Five foot four with a jutting chin like a jammed drawer." There's a nice scattering of such similes through the story but not enough for it to become grating. With one exception: "Night falls like a sack of nails." Maybe it's just a British thing. That phrase didn't really do it for me.

I also like the fact that there isn't a "he said/she said" dialog attribution in the entire story. I'm going to have to try that some day.

The sound effects were pretty good, too, particularly the Fark of the crows and the answering Fark from the mud.

Calling on the sense of smell is one of the best ways of bringing a reader into the story. Mr. Cox did that very well with the "people-hating, cardigan-wearing, curtain-twitcher". I would have liked to have seen a more evocative description of the smell of the barnyard.

Congratulations, Mr. Cox. I hope to see Malloy again soon.