Sixtus by Tim Kizer is a short novel with three short stories. I downloaded this from Kindle Unlimited based on the description I read about the “main” story, Sixtus. This was another lesson in reading a complete description of what I choose to read. I should have scrolled down for the complete description. On the other hand, I was able to compare writing styles when Kizer shifted to different plots and story lines. I found all stories fairly predictable despite the author throwing in several twists. These were not subtle; there was nothing leading up to them. For me, it was as if several story ideas were explored then a decision was made to try to link several of them into a coherent short story. The stories were not bad. They were not uninteresting. They just did not come up to the level of good.
In Sixtus, we meet Jeremy and Zack. They are close friends; Zack relies on the advice of Jeremy for almost everything. But Zack’s parents didn’t like Jeremy. Zack and Jeremy had been friends since Zack’s birth when Zack’s parents first tried to separate them. It worked for a while, but Jeremy came back. Zack had six fingers on his right hand. The sixth one was named Jeremy. And once back, Jeremy wanted revenge. His parents were right about trying to sever their son’s close relationship with Jeremy. They were dead right. Then the body count increases as Jeremy casts the net of revenge wider. Remember the doctor who had done the amputation 14 years earlier at the request of Zack’s parents?
In Hitchhiker we have the story of a killer who needs to leave the scene of a crime. Why risk stealing a car when hitchhiking is less dangerous? Ron was lucky to meet David who agreed to take him to Redding; it was on the way to David’s destination anyway. But David finds out that Ron is a serial killer. Even he is amazed at the coincidence of their meeting because, after all, David is a serial killer as well. There will have to be a showdown between these two. That will take place in the presence of a Deputy Sheriff. There is never a cop around when you need one.
There are all sorts of ways to be “out of it.” People use alcohol, drugs, meditation, and chemicals which might be considered lethal (poisons). Intoxication begins with suspicion as Leslie needs to react to Helen’s attempts to poison her. Her first attempt is to get Helen fired but the boss is having none of that. A completely unnecessary sexual meeting is inserted at this point. It relates to nothing. Leslie then tries to get help from boyfriend Rick as she acquires a gun for self-protection. After a confrontation with Helen, there is an “oops” moment when Leslie figures out it is really Kathy trying to kill her.
And Kathy has a reason.
The first words that come to my mind about this set of writings are “disconnected” and “unconnected.” Readers might note that there is an interesting connection that could have been made between Sixtus and Hitchhiker. The setup is there but the author decided not to do so. Maybe that is for another book.