I have read Michelle Medhat’s mind-blowing books that are an incredible action packed combination of science fiction and terrorism. The Call and The Shift are great stand alone books but even more enjoyable when read in the Author’s Cut. Medhat’s contribution to Twisted Tales, Letting Go, is a departure from her earlier works. High tension exudes from every word. At first I thought this was a love story of sorts, although I sensed the slightest hint of something disturbing in Simon’s thought pattern.
Using almost lyrical prose Medhat weaves her story skillfully. When Mary, Simon’s “boss” and the focus of his meditations, arrives at the restaurant for their lunch the pace picks up and the tension becomes almost unbearable. Simon doesn’t simmer to a slow boil; he virtually explodes. It is apparent he had far different expectations for their lunch. He had wrongly assumed she knew something about him. Did he harbor secret feelings for her and thought she might reciprocate?
As the luncheon proceeds with Simon regaining some semblance of propriety the story unwinds. The reader becomes conscious of the underlying conflict, the catalyst that had brought these two people to this time and place; dawning awareness hits. The relationship between Simon and Mary extends more deeply and further into the past that may be suspected from their initial contact.
Simon is Mary’s worst nightmare and has been in her life for three years and she hadn’t even recognized the monster. As recognition floods her she is thrown back to a memory so painful she had buried it deeply within, never allowing it to rear its ugly head. Now faced with the result of youthful mistakes she is horrified. However there is no escaping the wrath of the demon that has lain unrecognized and now rises from the murky depths of her past. The story builds in intensity until it explodes in a mad rush leaving the reader breathless and shocked.
Medhat captures extreme emotion in a tightly packed short story. Her ability to describe the passions of her characters is breath taking. Letting Go carried me along on a building wave until I was overcome, much like Mary who in a split second faces her past. Simon delivers the coup de grace with a piece of paper. Here is a character that could stand arm in arm with the infamous Norman Bates of Psycho fame.
I hope Michelle Medhat will continue to write in this genre. She is a master short story writer and would do well to compile a collection of her vivid tales.