Hopscotch by Duane Lindsay is a 48-page short story available on Amazon for USD 0.99 or for free through Kindle Unlimited. It has a very confusing title that appears on the Amazon site as Hopscotch (The Rag, The Wire and the Big Store Book 7). I finished the read and initially had no idea what the words in the parentheses meant. How did they relate to the story I read? A search of the Amazon Author page for Duane Lindsay answered most of my questions. The Rag, The Wire, and The Big Store are jargon specific to grifters, people who survive by clever cons that steal money from unsavory characters who in turn have cheated hard-working everyday folks like us. It is not that Leroy and Kate have hearts of gold; they just want to live well off the ill-gotten goods of others. The only alternative would be to get a job. Kate has had jobs in the past. Leroy has never considered it except when the job was in support of a con.
I am happy this is Book 7and I am looking forward to reading all the short stories in the series. Then I will try Lone Rock, a longer psychological thriller by Lindsay. I was happy to see such good writing in such a short story. There is a lot of dry humor in the dialogues between Leroy and Kate. The dialogue that involves Dixie, Leroy’s and Dixie’s daughter includes vocabulary some might consider too mature for her age but I found it realistic if we consider Dixie “precocious.”
The con, the grift, is an effort by Leroy and Kate to defeat a tenacious FBI agent who has made them (Leroy and Kate) an entire career’s mission. Kate and Leroy had survived by being globe-trotting con artists relieving the idle rich of their excess money. Kate is tired, she wants to return “home” (wherever that is). She asks Leroy to come up with a plan. Leroy thinks they must eliminate the root of their problem. They don’t have to kill anyone; Leroy has hated killing and violence ever since losing a big toe, but they do have to discredit FBI Agent Winslow Petrie.
No more can be written about this story because any more would be a spoiler. This is a fun, short, and fast-paced read. Given that there are several short stories in this series, this lends value to a Kindle Unlimited subscription. Some of her longer works are also available through KU.