Kunzmann is a youngish author, born in 1976. I don't know how much death and violence he has seen, but his story confronts a difficulty that must plague many serious crime writers: How does one write about death without having seen it up close?
"Rarely are we treated to the spectacle of what is guaranteed to one day happen to all of us," muses the first-person narrator, a crime writer named Sam Engels excited to be joining police at a murder scene. "Modern society robs us of a unique experience on a daily basis, and this is why I wanted to relish the moment."
The story is a bit talkier than I'd have liked, but I like Kunzmann's sly use of the difficulty mentioned above. And I like the rhythm of the story's opening even more: "It was a desperate death to look at."
Now, let's bring back that other old friend, the question to readers: What kinds of unexpected racial, ethnic or other tensions have you found in crime stories?
© Peter Rozovsky 2009