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Review: Thriller Magazine, Volume 2, Issue 2



My  first order of business is to make a disclaimer:  my 1920’s noir short story Cackle Bladder appears in this issue so I’ll only comment on other stories.

The hardcopy version of the magazine is well bound and printed with an eye catching, lurid cover by Michael Stewart. Stories that particularly caught my attention are, in order of publication:

I’ve Come For The Cash by Chris Fortunato:  This is a crime story that focuses more on personal foibles and the human comedy instead of the genre’s gritty, ugly side. Fortunato’s sympathy for common, regular people shines through. The story has a Capraesque quality throughout with several humorous touches.

Sunset Cruise by Edward Ahern:  An aging, worn out contract killer contemplates the end of the line. A pretty stock situation is given a good twist by a surprise ending I won’t give away.

Roy Boone’s Return by Robb T. White: The prose equivalent of an extremely morbid country song. White does a good job of keeping the reader guessing until the end.

A Roll In The Hay by John H. Dromey:  A very short story, Hay seems to be OK with some extremely brutal, vigilante justice against a rapist. It also depicts a character who cares about the law being applied as a naive fool and a loser.

Rationale by Sarah Katz: A tale of technology run amuck that features some rather nasty medical horror.

Temporary Reconciliation by Rekha Ambardar:  The saddest, most moving story of all the ones I read, a neat illustration of how even the best intentions can be foiled and lives permanently ruined by human dysfunction.

Kudos and congratulations to Ammar Habib, a talented, young writer and the editor of Thriller Magazine. Ammar is waging a one man crusade in the Internet Age to revive thriller fiction, by which I mean not just mystery and crime (although that’s an absolutely essential component), but also western, science fiction, fantasy, and horror fiction, only in the vein of old fashioned, edge of your seat, blood and guts, fast paced action stories, like the ones that used to dominate magazine racks in kiosks back when they had such things decades ago. This latest issue is just one more proof of his success in that ambitious venture.

I recommend this issue of Thriller to any fan of hardboiled pulp fiction.

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