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Thirteen Confessions

Thirteen Confessions

ohn and Pete aren't just neighbors—despite their obvious, heated political differences, they seem the best of friends. Then on New Year's Day, Pete strangles John for reasons not even he comprehends. He joins twelve others—including his ex-wife, a neighbor, John's daughter, the judge—in confessing their lack of any answer, their fear of what that means, and their nakedly honest judgments of the killer, the victim, and themselves.

This title story joins a dozen others, both new and previously published—including one chosen for Best American Mystery Stories—that together provide a baker's dozen of the very best short fiction from award-winning novelist David Corbett. Though they cover the breadth of the author's experience—from the casinos of Vegas to the barrios of Central America to the Zen Buddhist underground of San Francisco—they all share a common theme: the inexhaustible search for dignity even in the face of life's last chance.

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Three of the stories in Thirteen Confessions are offered for free by Grant Jones Street ("the Netflix of short fiction") through its website. Novelist Emily Carpenter curated five stories for June 5-9, 2017, one of which was David's "Pretty Little Parasite." Kelly Abbott of Grant Jones Street had this to say:

"Tuesday featured "Pretty Little Parasite" by David Corbett, which was a Best American Mystery Story in 2009. David also reads his story, which I listened to all 45 minutes of last night. David cannot sing a false note. This story is longer than most around here and it's worth it. The story is a Las Vegas story between a woman, her newborn daughter and the narcotics officer she has unwittingly become emotionally invested in while he is undercover (in every way) and himself culpable in her betrayal. Man, this is a deep story. And you come away caring. It really is a damn fine mystery."


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