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Angel of Manslaughter
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Dark Tales from Gent's Pens

Angel Of Manslaughter

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Cindy Rosmus’s ANGEL OF MANSLAUGHTER Reviewed

By A.M. Stickel, 4.29-5.1.07

 

     The ANGEL OF MANSLAUGHTER will slice and dice your spirit, then feed you your thoughts in a spicy stew of 15 stories. Editor and author Cindy Rosmus opens her short-story selection with one of the briefest introductions a reader will ever experience, her expression both sincere and funny. The tales introduced, however, are serious stuff.

     Rosmus’s hard-edged writing style is spontaneous, unpretentious, and geared toward adults, rather than the 14-and-under set. The flavor is urban and blue-collar, rather than suburban and white-collar, East Coast rather than West. This dark, sludgy slipstream—not mainstream—body of work, not literary at all, is replete with deadly imagery.

     “…only in Jersey can you smell it…of something being barbecued alive.” (pg.60)

     Story protagonists tend to be seriously flawed sufferers in a claustrophobic milieu providing few happy endings. Among the plethora of characters, few are trivial. Smoky, rundown neighborhood bars, sleazy apartments, sham weddings, and trashed parks are the backdrop for these raw souls battling the demons of drugs, alcohol, parental neglect, and a variety of other evils. Knives, fists, and rape are the weapons of choice, although invective runs a close second.

     “‘I’m sicka this shit. I’m sicka you.’