Sunday, October 27, 2019

You should be reading Nikki Dolson.

Happy Monday, friends. Today, I would like you to learn more about Nikki Dolson. 

I'm a big fan of Ms. Dolson's short stories. Unrelenting and unapologetic, they are brutal and, at times, darkly funny. Her fast as a bullet shorts can be found in the archives of Shotgun Honey, Thuglit, Red Rock Review, Spinetingler, and many more.

Here’s the good news, she has a short story collection, LOVE AND OTHER CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR, arriving from Bronzeville Books next month. In this collection, Dolson delivers thirteen stories exploring love and the many ways it can manifest. These are tales of love and family, hard choices, betrayal, and heartbreak. 
Sex, violence, and blood. What more could you ask for?

Her debut novel came out in 2017. In ALL THINGS VIOLENT we follow Laura Park, but this is not our only meeting with this relatable and complex young woman. 

Nikki Dolson gave us a tiny glimpse in BETTY FEDORA TWO: KICK ASS WOMEN IN CRIME. Please note, Ms. Dolson shines as a short story and flash fiction wielder. It is in her compact tales where we first meet Laura.

Laura Park is a hit woman. Almost. She has weeks, if not months, of brutal training under the equally complex, but still terrifying assassin, Frank to complete. Together, they work for Simon, the callous and single-minded owner of a highly-specialized investigative organization. This trio forms a fragile and difficult team. 

Throughout ALL THINGS VIOLENT, Laura faces hurdles like so many young women do in the everyday world. Condescending and disrespectful co-workers. Manipulative and greedy bosses. Ugly, complicated family matters. Making rent. Hiding the body. Laura has stepped too many paces off the beaten path. Her road is much darker than other young women and the consequences are far graver. 

Sounds like noir to me. Excellent noir.

Dolson serves backstory throughout the book, never forcing. Parceling. The way in which we get closer to Laura feels natural. A new friend learning how to confide. Her past and how she got to this place in life is just as important and enthralling as her wild, violent present.

Laura is a powerful young woman, full of shiny spots and flaws. You want to root for her and shake her. Make her a cup of cocoa and kick her ass. She does not sit comfortably in any pigeon-hole. She’s perfect.

This book was a great read and a great ride. Quick and brutal. Ms. Dolson snaps her dialogue with perfect realism. I am looking forward to many more stories revolving around Laura.

“Dolson's book has been on my TBR list for a while now, and Marietta's description below bumped it up to the top.” – E.A. Aymar. THE UNREPENTANT, I’LL SLEEP WHEN YOU’RE DEAD.

Visit her website, for more excellent stories and up to date information.


Jason said...

She is amazing. That story collection is among my top three favorites.

James L’Etoile said...

Looking forward to Nikki’s anthology!