Saturday, July 5, 2014

Cuinn's "Different League": Short Noir Fun

Carrie Cuinn's publications list includes several available online for free, including "A Different League", part of Akashic Books' 750-word-limit Noir series Mondays Are Murder.  I enjoy discovering authors I don't know, and I love the mood that makes noir noir, making this review a real pleasure.

Perhaps the most enjoyable part of the story is the range of lies the private eye and her client tell each other. Sure, the narrator isn't expected to disclose her financial desperation or her inability to afford what the client wears, so we let that slide without remark. But the end twist reveals how much more of the characters' interaction has been a deception – as it turns out, long before the curtain opened. And the reveal is fun. Cuinn's calculates how to dispense information, reverses the reader's calculation of the characters' motivations and stakes, and lands everybody in a much better place than they started.  How often do you find a noir with a happy ending?

I haven't read Cuinn's other work, but now I'm intrigued.

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