Catherine Tudish, "Killer"

What’s ol’ Mrs. Wells mean her son’s a killer?

(from Tenney’s Landing)

“Killer” starts with Mrs. Wells hiding her meds and trying to tell the other people in the nursing home that her son’s a killer. Then she recalls the murder itself, when her son was only 8, and how his accidental shooting of another boy uproots the family’s already quiet, solitary existence.
Somehow all the ugliness in this story — the cold family, the young killer, the blood — doesn’t stop you from feeling sorta warm and peaceful. The action moves along at a gentle trot, rarely lindering on one scene or idea, but not glossing over them either. This is the kind of pastoral, small-town tale of intrigue and sadness Alice Munro often hooks me with. The images are so vivid, the mood so defined, the reader is content to row along with the current.

Jenny Lewis with the Watson Twins, “The Big Guns”

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