Murder In the Midst, Sandi Wallace
A collection of eight different short stories, many of them past prize winners, all of them featuring crime and women from differing viewpoints.
Journalists, police officers and private investigators are some of the occupations of the different central characters. Perpetrators, investigators, good Samaritans and writers amongst the viewpoints. Those switching perspectives are one of the collection's major highlights, allowing for different impacts, different reactions and varied causes. There's also a range of different involvements - personal and professional, insider and outsider, always with an impetus to resolve and explain.
It's an interesting way to view crime, particularly as the women in this collection are not just "victims" or the off-camera incidentals, they also aren't always the good, the bad, or the damaged.
A wide combination of types of crimes, in a well executed range of Australian settings, normally with a short story collection you expect some to appeal more than others. It does, however, also feel like there was more being telegraphed here, particularly when considered against the timeframe of the stories original development.
The structure of this collection seems designed to explore the potential of female characters to be more than the stereotypical expectations in crime fiction and it's well done without being preachy or overtly instructional. MURDER IN THE MIDST is also a perfect way to taste test this author's work.
Eight different women. One thing in common: serious crime.
A cabinetmaker, private investigator, journalist, mystery lady, homemaker, police officer, true-crime writer and flavourist. Between them they witness, investigate, perpetrate and are victims of serious crime. Murder in the midst of carjacking, fraud, statutory rape, theft, vindictive bullying and serial arson.
It is on each of these women to uncover the truth, stop the villains, save themselves, exact retribution or get away with murder. All eight come out fighting. Some find and lose love, or suffer the ultimate betrayal.
This gripping collection of Sandi Wallace’s short crime fiction includes award-winners ‘Sweet Baby Dies’, ‘Ball and Chain’ and ‘Fire on the Hill’, along with new and never-before released stories.