Whiskey Creek Press
Poetic justice is when the antagonist gets what is coming to him. Superb poetic justice is when it happens in an unexpected, even twisted, manner. That’s what Linda Latimer deals out in Whiskey Shot 3. The anthology includes “Adultery,” “The Annoying Jingle,” and “Perfect Seclusion.”
In "Adultery", Marissa finds herself embarking in an affair with her chauvinistic neighbor, Brad. Despite his perfect body, he manages to turn her off with cruel comments about both of their unaware spouses. Brad and Marissa decide to check out an old historical mansion together. When Brad decides it would be great fun to play around with the shackles on the wall, Marissa decides she has had enough. Lucky for Brad, there seems to be a stream of women to replace his absentee playmate. It could be his luck is about to turn.
In "The Annoying Jingle", Joyce is tired of being taken for granted by her demanding slob of a husband, Mitch. Every day he comes home expecting his fried dinner promptly on the table. In fact, Mitch expects a lot, and never seems to notice how hard Joyce works to provide the life he prefers. Joyce is fed up with his expectations, his ingratitude, even his jingling the change in his pocket. She devises the perfect scheme to spotlight how hard she works while bringing her husband to heel—and it involves handcuffs.
In "Perfect Seclusion", an unnamed woman suffers as she lives with a demanding and verbally abusive husband. Her only relief is writing in her journal and the contemplation of seascapes. After her husband destroys her journal, she realizes it is time to capture the dream of perfect seclusion.
After reading all three stories, a common theme emerges—women abused by men. Marissa is ignored by her husband and berated by her would-be lover. Joyce is under-valued by her husband, Mitch. The last woman is old before her time, dried out from treatment her husband provides. It doesn’t look good for the male gender. Linda Latimer provides a happy ending for the women. The men on the other hand need to be taught a serious lesson.
The stories are extra short leaving no opportunity for back-story or fleshing out the character. The question I wanted answered most was how the seemingly nice, intelligent woman ended up with brutish men. My question went unanswered. There was an element of the melodramatic, but on the plus side, the women provided their own rescues. Kudos to Latimer for giving us strong women.
Whiskey Shot 3 is an interesting anthology, despite having rough edges. It shows promise, but could benefit from being longer to answer my nagging question and to develop the characters.
Reviewed by Morgan Wyatt
© December 2006