Friday, December 23, 2011

Short Story Spotlight: You'd Better Watch Out

OK, it's actually a novella (or "noirella," to use the author's own coinage), but Tom Piccirilli's You'd Better Watch Out is certainly seasonal.  The violence here is more savage than a pack of last-minute shoppers, as an anonymous narrator begins by recounting the Christmastime murder of his mother by his mob-tied-cop father (tongue-swallowing in this case has nothing to do with an epileptic fit).  This warped primal scene has lasting effect on the boy: he
grows up to become a hitman for a Brooklyn mafioso, honing his killing skills while he awaits dear old dad's eventual release from prison.  The plot builds to a predictably deadly climax, but it's the hard-boiled voice of the narrator that makes his vendetta story so captivating throughout. 

Priced at $0.99, this gun-heavy novella totally revalues the phrase "bang for your buck."  You'd better believe it: Piccirilli's unflinching tale is the perfect holiday treat for anyone dreaming of a crimson Christmas.

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