Hosted by Jay @ Bibliophilopolis
“Flash” by Loren D. Estleman
Card picked: Six of Diamonds
From: Murder on the Ropes, edited by Otto Penzler
Thoughts: While I know that everything here is supposed to be done for my enjoyment and I do love reading, blogging sometimes feels like obligation. I was inordinately happy when I drew this week’s story and discovered that this short story was indeed short. I’m now doubly happy because it was *good* too.
Midge is former boxer, now working as a bodyguard for a…well, we’re never told that his employer is a mobster, but he does have the ignoble nickname of Jake the Junkman. Midge’s boxing career ended when he *didn’t* take a dive in a twelve-round match. He’d been offered the money, but his opponent was actually too good. Unfortunately, that’s not the way it looked to the boxing commission. Midge found himself with debts, scars, hearing loss, and one good suit, an electric blue number, when Jake Wassermann hired him. Now, a few months into his employment and already in debt again, one of Wassermann colleagues buys Midge’s debt. All he wants from Midge is a favor.
In eight pages, Estleman tells a great story and let’s us get to know the big lug that is Midge. And a goodly bit of those pages is about suits: Midge’s blue “flash” versus the gray and brown tailored suits Mr. Wassermann would prefer that he’d wear. Telling details, a short story writer’s best friends.
About the Author: One of the things that I love about mixed anthologies is reading a story that I like by an author that I’m unfamiliar with and realizing that the author has a huge catalog of works, a few of which are already on my read-one-day list. Loren D. Estleman has written a few Sherlock Holmes pastiches (already on my list), several detective series, and Westerns as well (which are probably going on to my list).