Reviewed by: Pete Barber
Approximate word count: 15-16,000 words
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A.J. O’Connell is an author, journalist and adjunct professor who lives and labors in Connecticut. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Fairfield University. Her work has appeared on the website for National Public Radio, in Citizen Culture Magazine, The Battered Suitcase, The Wheel and various anthologies. She has reported for The Norwalk Hour and the Boston Herald.
Our main character (we never get her name) is a feisty young woman with serious tattoos. An artist by leaning, she earns a good salary working as a courier for “The Resistance.” She knows little to nothing about her paymasters, but when she’s involved in a collection that goes awry, The Resistance assumes she’s talked to the authorities and she becomes the hunted.
Firstly, credit where it’s due. Kudos for a great first sentence—“I hurt my ankle as soon as I stepped into Boston.”
This is a novelette that serves as a sampler for a book series. I loved the writing—flippant, slick, noir. The MC was fun—street-wise and never short of a smart-assed comment or thought. The “world” was in the future, but not so far that iPhones had gone out of style. The locations were nicely gritty.
My only qualm was that the story ended in a cliff-hanger. Buy-the-series was clearly the message, but I’d have preferred a more satisfying closure. I felt cheated and knocked off a star.
In keeping with the style, quite a few f-bombs.
No significant issues.
Rating: **** Four stars