Vanessa Blakeslee’s short story collection, Train Shots (Burrow Press, 2014), gives you a little pause. True to the title, the breaths between stories are like the pauses in between downing shots.
Blakeslee is not afraid to end things on a suspenseful note, and I still find myself wondering about the fates of some of the characters. For example, Layla in “Barbecue Rabbit” kept me up at night, wondering about her and her unhappy, psychopathic son, Ethan. The ending gives such a rush. Without spoilers, let’s just say I wonder how many people wind up getting listed in the police report. It is rare to find an author who creates characters that stay with you so vividly once the book is closed.