Saturday, January 13, 2007

"The Timing of Unfelt Smiles" by John Dufresne

From: Miami Noir, ed. Les Standiford, Akashic Books, 2006.

Jordan Delreese is a highly successful motivation expert and church deacon who, in this story's opening sentence, is described bludgeoning his wife and two children to death. The description is provided by Wylie Melville, the psychotherapist helping police profile Delreese.

The story alternates between Melville's first-person P.O.V. and third-person descriptions of Delreese continuing his killing spree, drugging and drowning his ultra-religious parents. The two viewpoints contrast quite starkly: Melville's very human as he juggles the case with caring for his senile father; Delreese's hopeless and inevitable, its quoteless dialogue emphasizing how withdrawn he has become.

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