Sunday, March 13

The Dead Woman and the Lover by Dilys Rose

Rose has written several books of short stories; this appeared in the book of entries to the Scotland on Sunday short story competition in 1998.

An actress has to strip naked as she portrays a dead (possibly-murdered) woman in a mortuary; when having drinks afterwards with the director, cameraman and husband (as you would), she sees a famous, attractive actor (the ‘lover’), and is egged on by the others to invite him over.

I thought the prose worked pretty well; the beginning was a good example of not explaining too much to the reader and getting straight into the story, but the effect was diminished a little by providing too much back-story as it went on. I really liked the twin themes of the murder and the attractive actor, they made an interesting combination. Towards the end, parallels were drawn between the dead woman and the actress’s own life, but this could have been developed more.

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