Issue 3 of All Due Respect is now available here (for you ebook junkies) and here (step forward, paper-worshipping luddites). I’m pleased to once again play a supporting role – my reviews of David James Keaton’s Fish Bites Cop (an anthology of surreal, crime flavoured short stories) and Donald E. Westlake’s The Comedy is Finished (the master’s recently rediscovered ‘lost’ 70s novel) are in there, and there’s plenty of other choice recommendations for your reading list.
But – quite rightly – it’s the fiction that’s the main attraction here. Particular highlights for me would be a father’s quest to rescue his drug addict daughter in ‘Separation Anxiety’, by Angel Luis Colon (I was struck in particular by a line about a man dropping to the ground ‘like a wet towel’); Jen Conley’s ‘Milk’, a fine evocation of a youthful night out gone wrong , and one which brought back more than a few memories; ‘No Good Way Around’ by Rob Hart, a more comic piece which sees two couriers stuck behind an errant freight train, and at the sudden mercy of the law with something suspicious lurking in the boot of their car; and Alec Cizak’s ‘Little People’, about the frantic, by night clean-up in the aftermath of a hit-and-run.
Fans of Jake Hinkson’s work are also in for a treat- he’s all over ADR #3 like a rash. As well as a review of his novella Saint Homicide (now perilously close to the top of my reading pile), there’s also his story ‘The Theologians’, one of the magazine’s highlights. It’s a wry tale of would-be burglars thrown together at an AA meeting, and the subsequent discussion on Christianity that leads to their undoing. Third and finally, there’s also an interview with Hinkson about his work. I was especially intrigued by his interest in organised religion, one that Hinkson links very directly with his upbringing. ‘It was all about obedience – about facing your sin and turning away from it… When I discovered crime fiction as an adolescent, it struck me that he was a kind of fiction that was all about sin and salvation, transgression and ruin.‘
I was also struck by his compelling description of Daniel, the narrator of Saint Homicide, as a man ‘so damaged he has to keep himself locked in a room of absolute belief at all times.’ It’s always thrill to hear writers talk, and this has certainly whetted my appetite to read more of Hinkson’s work. My only complaint would be that the interview was too short; but, as with any book or magazine, it’s where it leads you next that is part of its joy, and there are plenty more paths to explore off the back of ADR #3, which on their own justify the (very modest) purchase price.