The Plunge: (Holiday Spectacular Story #19)

As noted here, I’m commenting daily on the WMG Holiday Spectacular—which is a great project that releases a story every day. These might be reviews. Or not. They might be interesting. Or … um … not. They will be fun, though. For me, at least.

Here’s the next story.


“The Plunge”
Daphne Crowe

[Warning: I’m going to talk a little inside writing here, or if not truly “inside writing” at least at the border of it. And while not delivering the plot per se, I’ll talk about things adjacent to it. I don’t intend to give any specifics away, and I don’t THINK that what I’ll say will harm any enjoyment of the story. But if you are like me and prefer to come to a manuscript with a totally clean slate, you’d be best off to read “The Plunge”—which, of course, you should do anyway—before reading these thoughts. Of course, if you are not like me these comments might serve as a kind of trailer and enhance your read. Who am I to say?

All right, then. Now that you have been wanted, here we go…]

Well, now. Here is an interesting story.

On its own it’s a good tale. But, for me, part of the fun of “The Plunge” was that its pacing allowed me to bring myself into the story as it unfolded. After reading it I felt like I’d been on a bit if a roller coaster—and in a good way. So, I went back and thought about that a little bit.

We know right away that Beth—the protagonist—is leaving her apartment for good. But why? The tale gives me space to contemplate that question before kinda answering it (in a way that leaves me space to ask more questions if I want to, and, yes, I do want to). Then, just as I’m starting to get a feel for the depths of what might be behind that answer, we’re off to something that turns into a travelogue and then an adventure, which is intriguing in its own way (one thing I love about the Crowe pseudonyms is that you always feel that deep New England setting. They know where they are, and so do you). Of course, once we get comfy with the idea that we’re on a trip to the unknown, she throws in enough of the survival instinct that my mind starts to worry we’re moving into “To Build a Fire” territory, when …

What Crow has done here—to the best of my ability to break down—is essentially crafted a work that combines the classic tools of the mystery genre with those of the travel, adventure, and even thriller genres—before truly settling into its romantic core. It’s fascinating, really. By rites, I’m not sure this piece should even work—and yet it does.

So, yeah. I enjoyed the read all by itself, but it made me stop and think. How the heck did she do that? I mean. Really? Was that on purpose? If so, color me jealous. If not, well, that’s the beauty of serendipity.

Either way…um…cool.

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