The sun-kissed city of high hopes and second chances, where everyone seems to be from somewhere else. A siren’s call to dreamers, misfits, mystics and freaks, lost souls and purveyors of sin. They roll in on their last tank of gas, their suitcases bulging with secrets of pasts better forgotten. They stay for a few days, a month, a year, a lifetime. The determined and the desperate, careening and colliding toward trouble, and their last resort.
Edited by Matt Coyle, Mary Marks, and Patricia Smiley, with an introduction by Michael Connelly.
Wendall Thomas – Eggs Over Dead
Laurie Stevens – The Ride of Your Life
G.B. Pool – Method Actor
Anne David – The Best LAid Plans
L.H. Dillman – Lead Us Not Into Temptation
Gay Degani – Highland and Park Hit
Avril Adams – Independence Day
Lynne Bronstein – Mimo
Mae Woods – Today’s the Day
Georgia Jeffries – Little Egypt
Wrona Gall – Thump Bump and Dump
Cyndra Gernet – Hired Lives
Sarah M. Chen – Nut Job
Melinda Loomis – Crime Drama/Do Not Cross
Paula Bernstein – On Call for Murder
Stephen Buehler – Seth’s Big Move
Independence Day by Avril Adams tells the story of Ava, who makes a bargain to dispose of a gangster’s enemy in exchange for a new life. Here is a preview:
It was the 4th of July, the country’s Independence Day. It was Ava’s, too. Although, unlike the nation, Ava was still unsure of what it meant to be free. On the vanity she set the lipstick, “Crimson Dynamo”, and the Colt automatic. Ava hadn’t handled either of these for the five years she’d been jailed at Tehachapi State Prison, but she hadn’t lost her touch with the only things a girl like her really needed.