As I've said before, Russel McLean writes some of the best mystery short fiction available through commercial sources. This example in the September 2008 issue of AHMM is a prime example of what I mean. It starts off with a former boxer, Davey, whose sixteen year old daughter has gone missing with some guy who is no good on the surface and might be downright evil at the core. Sam Bryson, former copper and Davey's friend, is called in on the case as Davey has never had much use for the police.
Will Sam be able to track the girl down before she's done in? Will Davey need to ride in to the rescue, fists swinging? Will Sam be able to keep his own temper (prone to sudden flareups) under control? Well, you'll have to buy a copy of the magazine to find out, but this is excellent writing, and in the end your heart will be torn at with sharp cat's claws*.
I should say the issue also contains contributions by John Dirckx and G. Miki Hayden (who finally gets an illustration). Two more excellent reasons to get a copy.
* Okay not the greatest metaphor, but you'll see what I mean if you read the story**.
** Okay, you may not exactly see what I mean, but I promise you'll love the story.