amazon). The anthology collects 20 stories with an average length of about 20 pages. The editors Otto Penzler, who selected a short list of 50 stories, and James Patterson, who choose the finalists, did a fine job.
My favorite tale is "Staircase to the Moon" by Theresa E. Lehr. The story is set
in Australia and is told by a young woman, a pearl diver and daughter of Japanese immigrants. She wants to find out who had murdered her sister. I enjoyed the style and got emotional involved into the plot.
There are 8 more stories which I liked:
"The Snow Angel" by Doug Allen. An underaged girl was found dead in the snow at a mansion where a group of privileged kids had a party in the night before. A subtile psychological tale with a lot of twists.
"Cowboy Justice" by Andrew Bourelle. 2 brothers, kind of rednecks, want to revenge the death of the 3rd brother, who got killed by drug dealers. A violent and bloody clash of cultures.
"Wet with Rain" by Lee Child. Two Americans came to an Irish town where they want to buy a house, offering a very generous price. What do the really intend? The story starts slowly but accelerates.
"Red Eye" by Michael Connelly & Dennis Lehan. A young girl had disappeared in Boston. A local detective and a cop from California try to find here. The story is told bit in the style of the old masters like Chandler & Hammett.
"Harm and Hammer" by Joeseph D`Agnese. A woman, who lives in witness protection, tries to create a total new life. Not much is happening here, but I enjoyed the precise descriptions how she deals with the new circumstances.
"Crush Depth" by Brendan Dubois. Boston again: A man goes weekly to the harbor where he talks with a man who uses to sit there. with a retired worker of the ship yard there. The dialog partner seems to have a dark secret.
"Molly´s Plan" by John M.Floyd. A man wants to rob a bank, which allegedly nobody robs. A nice story told with some humor. It´s fun to read.
"Shared Room on Union" by Steven Heighton. A story about a couple who made a very unsettling experience. An intense and claustrophobic tale.
In the moment of writing Amazon.com offers the Kindle version for just
$9,99. The collection is highly recommended for connoisseurs of mystery
stories and for those who want to get a taste of contemporary thrillers.