Reviewed by Donna
TITLE: An Unexpected Shot
AUTHOR: Caitlin Ricci & A.J. Marcus
PUBLISHER: NineStar Press
LENGTH: 39 Pages
RELEASE DATE: April 3, 2017
Darius has just retired as a police officer and opened his PI business. He expects to help people and continue the exciting life he had while on the force, but most of his cases center around cheating spouses. That is until a young boy comes into his office one afternoon.
Parker insists that his parents are missing, and not believing him, Darius calls the people on the boy’s phone to find one who is willing to pick him up. Rick, a family friend, comes to get him. As a thank you for watching over Parker, Rick invites Darius to his house for dinner. Their connection is instant, but their romantic night together becomes complicated when men break into Rick’s house and start shooting.
I really wasn’t sure how to rate this short story. My conflict is – it was really interesting, but the fact that it’s so short meant that I was left frustrated and without all the answers. I try to avoid the usual – this short story needed to be longer – but in the case of An Unexpected Shot, it really needs to be said.
Private Investigator, Darius, meets Rick when he arrives at Darius’s office to collect his 12-year-old honorary nephew, Parker. Parker is insisting that his parents are missing, but Rick is equally insistent that they’re merely away on holiday. At Rick’s invitation Darius ends up at Rick’s home to have dinner with Rick and Parker, which ends with the two men in bed together.
Which is where it all got very interesting, but much too complicated for 39 pages. There’s talk of the two men entering a relationship, but an open relationship, which includes elements of BDSM and so many rules that it really needed to be given more page time. As it was, Rick lays out his requirements, Darius agrees, and they move on to the next plot point. It felt as though it should have been a point of conflict in the story, but there was no time to expand upon it. If it was never intended to add any type of conflict, or alternatively some depth of personal reflection, it was a rather superfluous inclusion in such a short story. There really wasn’t a need for it at all.
From here we move on to the 30 year old mystery of dozens of murdered children, which really just came out of nowhere and made me wonder what the hell had just happened, and then finally the men arrive with the guns, as per the blurb. As I said, all of this was very interesting, and I loved how the authors tied everything together into a complex plot, but complex plot and 39 pages are two descriptions that rarely work together.
I think that I would have truly loved this story if it had been significantly longer, but as it is, I was left unsatisfied and a little confused.