Sunday, September 08, 2019

"Left for Dead" by S.J. Rozan

Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, July/August 2019, p. 31–33

This deceptively short story offers a full picture of nine-year-old dyslexic Joey, who's lived with his loving Aunt Amy and abusive Uncle Ted for three years, since his mother's death. Enhancing the picture, Rozan describes strategies Joey has been taught to cope with dyslexia, strategies kept secret from Uncle Ted.

Perhaps the twist, this isn't a story of Joey getting revenge on Ted. Ted causes his own demise through lack of knowlege, yet there's no cosmic justice, either. Never learning how wrong he is, Ted's last, fatal act is in spite of Joey. Short but by no means simple.

Also this summer, Rozan returned to her Lydia Chin and Bill Smith P.I. series with Paper Son from Pegasus Books.