Head Count by Glenn McGoldrick is described by the author as a dark short story. At 208 Kindle locations or 17 pages, it is short. Published in 2018, it relates the story of an incident aboard a cruise ship that featured primarily gambling. All of a sudden, there is a coded message, an Oscar announcement, indicating to the ship’s crew that there is a person overboard. Whether the person jumped or fell is in doubt. The identification of the person is also in doubt due to poor or outdated surveillance camera footage. The only way to identify who went overboard is by conducting a passenger headcount. Once the person is identified, investigators will try to determine a
Glenn McGoldrick writes from experience as he worked in casinos for over twenty years, fifteen of those on cruise ships. He has been writing for five years. His writing favors short stories with somewhat of a twist. I am only interested in what is available on Kindle. I found thirteen short stories ranging in price from USD 1.24 to USD 1.40. I found three stories free, not Kindle Unlimited, but free. I have read all of his stories available on Kindle and have only purchased one. After submitting a couple of reviews of the free ones, the author offered me the others for free in return for a review.
There are readers like myself for whom reading is almost an addiction; reading calms me when I am in a taxi during a traffic jam or when I am supposed to wait patiently in some office because the appointments of others have exceeded someone’s expectation. McGoldrick stories fill the time. These are almost coffee break short stories. I have yet another reason for liking them. I teach English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) and stories this short do not strain the attention span of my students. There are not outrageous depictions of sex and violence. The slight twists at the end of a McGoldrick short story are similar to someone putting their hand in a slow running stream and diverting it’s expected course. I gave this story five Amazon stars in its genre of very short entertaining stories.