Old Crimes: And Other Stories

Hachette Audio. Jan. 2024. 8:24 hrs. ISBN 9781668637005. $24.99. F
McCorkle (Hieroglyphics) offers a resonant collection of intense and personal short stories about ordinary navigating the hardships of life. Through this group of complex characters, McCorkle explores themes of regret, family relationships, and enduring trauma. Although the characters are flawed, their narratives are compelling and relatable. A team of narrators, including the author, Hayden Bishop, Marcella Cox, Cary Hite, and others, read the stories. Some narrators are more engaging than others, but that does not detract from the emotional impact of the stories. One standout tale is “Confessional,” narrated by Teralyn Davis, in which a young couple purchases a confessional booth in an antique shop. Over several months, they enter the booth and reveal intensely personal secrets to each other. In the title story, narrated by Kathy Bell Denton, college students Lynn and Cal share a romantic weekend in a run-down motel. During their stay, an annoying six-year-old girl enters their room. Lynn suspects that the girl is being abused but does nothing and carries the resulting guilt for the rest of her life.
VERDICT McCorkle skillfully delivers moving, intense stories with characters who harbor secrets and profound regret. A compelling exploration of humanity.
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