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2014 Story 15

From the anthology DANGEROUS WOMEN, edited by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois

15. I KNOW HOW TO PICK 'EM by Lawrence Block  This is only the second story I've read in DANGEROUS WOMEN, but I'm sensing a trend that authors invited to participate took the plural in the title seriously. Like Jim Butcher's story, Block's tale has not one but two dangerous women.  Our narrator is a traveling man who doesn't put roots down in one place for too long, and the story travels as well, across his present and his past. It could be as dizzying as an episode of LOST, but Block's first person narration is tight, the narrator parceling out only such detail as is necessary for that point in the story. There's enough detail to feel the time and place but the story also manages to feel claustrophobic. It's a strong character set piece, but it's not navel-gazing; things happen despite most of the story taking place in the same hotel room over just a few short hours.

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