Reviews for The Driven Dame
Mislav chapter 1 . 2/9
Pretty interesting and well-crafted mystery story, with good characterization and attention to details. Tightly plotted, with just the right amount of action, humor and plot twist. And femme fatale, of course. It had a good noir feel to it. I especially liked the way you described Philip's office and Janet's appearance and demeanor. I knew there would be some kind of a payoff about that red car following around. I liked the twist with Janet killing everyone, and the way it was tied together: she wanted Philip to find Iron Zhang so she could kill him, which is why she was following Philip around. Good job with the action scenes too. I also liked the way you tied the Chinese nationalist/resistance movement and the terror of Mao's China into the story. My favorite part was: ""I've done too many things to atone for in my younger years, and that was before I collaborated with the Japanese," he said, crestfallen and melancholic. "At the time, I told myself it was necessary for my survival, but I came to fear a traitor's end and legacy."

"And you've probably lost a lot since the war ended, being reduced to a garage scow like this."

"I had wealth and power, but at a heavy cost to myself and my country."

"Zhang, I know what you're trying to do," Clark said. "But you're still working for someone else. Those weapons weren't stolen, are they?"

"No, but I presume you know their origin."

"Of course," Clark said, recalling what he saw. "American weapons bound for China, courtesy of the OSS and other spooks. They have the pull to order the cops to look away."

"It was a mutually advantageous agreement, but I fear there again will be a cost," Zhang said, his face hardening once more. "So, Mr. Clark, who sent you?"

A burst of gunfire from outside interrupted Clark's thought process. Screaming echoed outside, followed by intermitted gunshots. The staccato of weapons fire was heard outside, before a pall of silence settled over the deck above. The answer to the question itself drew closer as footfalls reverberated down the outside hallway like the unstoppable march of an automaton. His bodyguards pleaded with him to leave, but he told them to depart and save themselves. Following their adamant refusal to obey his orders, they instead drew weapons and waited by his side. "I suppose this will be my last voyage," Zhang said to them. "May the heavens take pity upon those I have wronged, and those I failed to save."

Clark heard Zhang ordered his bodyguards to unlock the door. A stern look appeared on his face, an iron countenance worth of his nickname. With the stoicism of a man willfully accepting imminent death, he drew a pistol and stepped outside, closing the door behind them. A trio of gunshots terminated the loudened footfalls.

A moment later, Janet walked into the room, smoking Type 17 in hand. She took Zhang's dagger in her other hand, freshly reddened with blood other than hers. She approached Clark with a manic grin on her face. Seeing him tied to the chair, she placed the knife on his lap.

"Good work, shamus," she said in an exuberant voice. "You worked quicker than I'd thought you would."

"That was you in the car, wasn't it?" Clark said, cutting through the ropes that bound his hands. "You urgently wanted to see Zhang six-feet under."

"Don't tell me his lies convinced you," Janet said. "But I was worried I'd lost you after the diner. Then I saw those people you freed coming out of the market."

"I imagine your adoptive parents must've been rich and bought you everything you wanted," Clark said, standing up. "If you'd have given me a bit more time, I might have-"

"You might be lying at the bottom of the bay," Janet interrupted. "Now, I've found a stash of dough. I'll give you double your original fee if you shut up about this."

"What about the police?"

"They don't care," Janet replied, taking a drag from her cigarette. "We're all just chinks to them."

Philip Clark said no more as he retrieved his items from the fallen gangsters. He was not one to deny the whims of such a driven dame. He left the corpse-strewn, bloodied pier behind, with the sun to his back, cigarette in his mouth, and his mind full of doubts."

Keep up the great work, you are very talented. I always have fun reading your stories.
Sabrina Jennings chapter 1 . 3/10/2017
Nice Story. Good writing, strong plot. Good immersion into the period, nice attention to detail there. There are a couple spelling mistakes you might want to check.