Ballistic, by Trey Dowell. I had heard and read great things about this story for the longest time. It was number five on the Untreed Reads best seller list and I understand why.
It tops out at ten pages and is an interesting little piece of fiction. In this story, Dowell mixes action and noir. This is something I can't remember being done before; if it has, it's been awhile.
The story centers on a hitman named Danny who is sent with a couple of other thugs on a job. To make a long story short, things go wrong for Danny and he ends up fighting for his life.
Danny is clearly a bad guy. However, Trey leaves you no choice but to root for him. He does this by employing a cinematic prose style and he chose a common setting that we are all familiar with: an office building. What this does is help us put ourselves in Danny shoes and we essentially become him. As a result, the reader feels that they are fighting for their life as well, and we want very much for Danny to succeed.
Dowell also did something else that was very clever and very simple. He gave Danny a backstory and a sexual past with the crime boss's mistress. You would think that this would make the reader like him even less, but it does the opposite. It gives him a rogue like quality and a seed of redemption. You figure that if somebody is willing to give themself or their love to Danny, we may as well give him a chance too.
Trey pulled out all the stops with this one and gives us a thrill ride all the way to the end and then smacks us in the face with a suprise ending.
I would like to see another longer piece from him like this nasty little one. Ballistic can be purchased at www.untreedreads.com . Buy it now!