Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Death on Denial by O'Neil De Noux

This is the second De Noux story I've read. It was in one of those "Best American" anthos. It is a funny thing that De Noux does here. He juxtaposes the Agatha Christie* story punned in the title with a main story filled with only nasty people doing nasty things. This contrast is, of course, a stroke of genius as we see how none of the characters can live up to the simple codes of conduct and honor that we're getting snippets of as one of the charcters spends his days watching and re-watching Death on the Nile.

The three main characters (a gangster, a hitman, and another killer) in the story are fleshed out and even given backstories which is impressive in so short a work. The prose is smooth and the plotline is oddly compelling though you can't imagine this is the way the real underworld works. No wonder so many are in prison.

It's in the 2003 edition of the "Best American Mystery Stories." Pick it up is you've got the chance. Well worth reading.

* No website still? How will she ever catch on?


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