Copperhead Canyon by Joe Clifford

“Because we need the lighter to start a fire or we’ll freeze tonight,” Emily said. “I mean, why should I go with him?  Send Jimmy or Rex.  Or Deb.”  Tim stared down at his so-called friends, who stared up from their tents, watching the drama on the ridge of Copperhead Canyon.  That fucker Kurt down […]

Route A66 by Charlie Wade

Becky was restless as hell as we pulled into the diner. I was fed up with Little Chefs and MacDonalds so when I spotted the Route A66 Diner sign in the Pennines, I was hooked. Place looked old but well kept. American theme obvious, but not overdone. An old car painted on the side wall, […]

A Little Miracle by Matthew C. Funk

Even I couldn’t believe Jasper Dixson when I first saw him, dancing by the bullet holes. I was casing the crowd at the daily drug-connected shooting. Some banger with Scarface dreams had put a drum clip of 7.62 into a Grubs house on Law. My job was to scope for faces familiar to my Narco […]

A Loaded Question by Tom Pitts

First came the red and blue lights, followed by a surge of adrenalin in Eric’s heart. He could hear his own breath, shaking through his nose. “Shit.” He gripped the steering wheel, hoping that the cruiser would fly right by him. Then the whoop whoop of the siren, that fucking cop wasn’t going anywhere.  He […]

Interview: Anthony Neil Smith

Nestled in a farm town just this side of Minneapolis, Anthony Neil Smith uses the frigid world of his adopted home state, Minnesota, with snow rake at hand and Herman Dog at his side, to write crime. Neil, he’s a middle-name-kind-of-guy, sounds like a superhero and to many he is as the nefarious Doc Noir: […]

No-Account Sonofabitch by Heath Lowrance

Wilby’s on his fifth beer when the kid comes in. Normally Wilby wouldn’t even notice new arrivals, but this one catches his eye because the kid is already clearly drunk as hell. The kid staggers up, slides unsteadily into the seat next to Wilby. Bartender says, “What’ll it be?” and the kid says, “Shot’a Maker’s. […]

One Man’s Trash by R Thomas Brown

Phil lumbered out of his truck and opened the lock he had placed on the storage unit that morning. The orange door slid open, revealing the stacks of boxes that hid the value he saw during the five minutes of allotted time before bidding commenced. He hoped he’d find treasure in the back, and not […]

The Job by Pearce Kilgour

I don’t believe in coincidence. In my line of work, there is a natural flow and ebb. Just a matter of watching for the signs. If given a chance and a bit of research I can often stand to get enough to semi-retire for a year or two. Fully retire? I don’t have a choice. […]

Interview: Ray Banks

In the category of Authors Deserving More Recognition, Especially Here In The States, I present Ray Banks. Ray Banks, hailing from the shores of Edinburgh, has worked, in his own words, “as a wedding singer, double-glazing salesman, croupier, dole monkey, and various degrees of disgruntled temp.” He is the author of the Cal Innes series […]

Circumstantial by John Kenyon

“So, Juanita, let’s go over this, OK?” Briggs was leaning back in the metal chair, the crack in the worn vinyl seat cushion pinching his ass. West was leaning against the wall by the door, eyes closed; probably asleep on his feet. Briggs marveled at the skill. “What you wanna know?” said Juanita. She was […]

Clown Town by Frank Larnerd

Zappo watched as a stray dog wearing a silly hat, pissed on the mailbox in front of Amazing Rondo’s TV repair. Behind the iron gates of the shop, a row of televisions flickered attracting a cloud of insects. On the TVs, the Mayor was giving an address to a sea of reporters. There was no […]

Bebe by Matthew C. Funk

It took years for Bebe Pink to lose everything. I met her like I did most of the worst: As a rookie patrol in 2002. Bebe didn’t have much then—just a rap sheet long as the complete works of Shakespeare, only bloodier. I flipped through it as she stared me down in interrogation. It was […]