cover image Tiny Crimes

Tiny Crimes

Edited by Lincoln Michel and Nadxieli Nieto. Black Balloon (PGW, dist.), $15.95 trade paper (288p) ISBN 978-1-936787-87-6

Michel and Nieto collect 40 tiny macabre tales—ranging from two to seven pages—in which every word counts, but it’s what’s not said that truly chills. These snippets of crime, madness, and monsters heighten tension and suspense with the brevity of their set-ups, cleverness of word play, and sucker punches of their climaxes. J. Robert Lennon’s humorous “Circuit City” opens the book with employees, all named John, double-crossing their manager as he robs the store. A couple with a death wish in Amelia Gray’s “The Odds” takes a number of fatal chances. In a heavily redacted letter, a prisoner explains how his crime was exploited for an “Airport Paperback” in Adam Hirsch’s story. A swindler confined to a claustrophobic room gets divine retribution in Fuminori Nakamura’s “No Exit.” Chiara Barzini’s “Minor Witchcraft” follows women destroying the wedding of a childhood tormenter. In Benjamin Percy’s “We Are Suicide,” a mall cop guards the eerie site of numerous suicides. In Carmen Maria Machado’s “Mary When You Follow Her,” told in a single melancholy five-page sentence, police in the barrio decide to investigate only when it’s a rich white woman who goes missing. This volume provides a smorgasbord of inventive, grisly, sinister, and delightfully amusing tales that are perfect for lovers of crime fiction.[em] (June) [/em]