DENNIS LEHANE once said that the short story is the prose writer’s best chance for perfection. The novel is too big and unruly, but with the short story, the author can come close to getting it just right. I think Holly M. Kothe has approached perfection with her story collection Sweet Violent Femmes. The collection contains four stories, all of which are quite compelling, but it was her writing technique that I found most impressive. She gets deep into her characters, her rhythm is fluid, and there is hardly a wasted word on the page. Her protagonists come from dark places, dwell in dark places, and their actions are, therefore, as advertised: these women will not be scorned. If you like artfully-written noir fiction, I encourage you to download Holly’s collection.
For the aspiring writers out there, if you want a master class in point of view, get this collection and study it. What the author pulls off in the second story, “Tethered,” is truly remarkable.
If you have read, or end up reading Sweet Violent Femmes, let me know what you think.