Missing on Date Night by Michael Ace Smith is a forty-five-page crime story. I received an email from the author with several attached PDF files and a request for reviews. Once I saw attached PDF files, the email with unopened attachments remained in my inbox for several days because I hate reading stories in PDF format. Yep, there are programs that convert files to different formats but why should I be forced to convert files to my desired reading form (mobi)? I decided to open one attachment just to get a feel for the style of writing and was pleasantly surprised. Because the story was short, I suffered the pain of scrolling as I read the first one, Missing on Date Night. Putting the title into Amazon, I found the novella available through Kindle Unlimited. I could download the book and it would be a verified purchase. No PDF files! I am happy.
Lyndsey Franks is the character readers will pay most attention to. She is either a hero because she is a free thinker following the sound of her own drummer or she is an anti-hero slut who sleeps with every male in sight. The promiscuous Lyndsey was a younger disturbed person acting out because of a mother who rejected her and a father who was too busy for her. With a bad girl reputation firmly in place, the only remedy for change was to move to another town where she was not known and to try to start over. Lyndsey did this with friend Lucy, a concerned friend who offered a lot of emotional support and advice about a new beginning.
Lyndsey was lucky in finding Phil, an architect. Lyndsey was not lucky in that she and Lucy had moved to the nearest large town, not distant enough from their hometown. On a night out, Lyndsey and Phil met a crowd of males that included two men Lyndsey had slept with. Some in the crowd were loud and abusive toward Lyndsey as they revealed Lyndsey’s past to Phil. Although Phil knew some of Lyndsey’s past, this incident led to the breakup of Phil and Lyndsey. She would have to start again.
She and Lucy decided to post a profile on a dating site, Finder. Lyndsey finally chose Jake Flanders, a graphic design person. She went on a date with him but never came back. The search was on with lots of usual suspects, Jake being the prime suspect. There was also Jackson, owner of the Finder site. There was the ex-boyfriend, Phil. There were the members of the group that had outed Lyndsey’s past to Phil. Lyndsey may have simply run away.
This is a nice, easy to follow, entertaining crime story. I felt the final resolution has a large internal contradiction but I can’t describe it as the description would be a spoiler. I think this would be a good short story for a reader discussion group. As far as an Amazon star rating, I would give it 3.5 but that is not an available rating so I will round up to four stars.