Saturday, September 15, 2007

"Needle" by Loren D. Estleman

From: Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine, October 2007.

For Estleman's 55th birthday, a review of his latest Amos Walker story. Walker's septuagenarian neighbor Doto, a Polish Holocaust survivor with whom Walker has only shared the occasional courtesy, stops by for coffee, invites Walker back to his house, and shows him a dead body.

It's clear that Doto fired his shotgun at the man, but he claims not to remember doing it, only recognizing the man as an intruder, noticing a Swastika tattoo on his cheek.

Walker calls the police, and Doto's story seems to hold up. At trial, Walker testifies to what he witnessed, and the jury determines Doto was within his rights to defend himself in his own home.

Once again sharing coffee, however, Walker discovers something about Doto's past that turns the story nicely on its head.

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