Selected by LJ ROBERTS:

PAUL DOIRON “Backtrack.” Short story. Charley Stevens. Minotaur Books, ebook, June 2019. [See also Comment #3.]

First Sentence: There were four doctors staying at the hunting camp.

   Game warden Charley Stevens is called to the winter hunting camp in Maine where four doctors from Massachusetts are staying. However, one of them is missing. It’s up to Charley to find the missing man.

   The first thing to know is that this story does not feature game warden Mike Bowditch, but focuses on Charley Stevens, who had been Mike’s mentor. The story is also told, very effectively, in retrospect.

   A well-done short story truly is a work of art. Such is the case here. With a nicely done twist, Doiron takes the reader from suspense to something unexpected and poses an excellent question while dealing with the subject of regret.

   The thing with a short story is that one can’t say too much for fear of including a spoiler. What one can say is how much this story may make one think and question what one would do in the same situation. It may also make one want to read much more of Doiron’s work. The good news is that there is an impressive backlist.

   “Backtrack” is a perfect title for this excellent e-short. It really does take great skill to write a story this short which is this impactful.

Rating: Excellent.