The Best of Crimes

K.C. Maher


May 23, 2019


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Amanda laughs and stands. Hair sweeps across her forehead and she extends her arms toward me. If she hasn’t been acting beyond her years, she certainly is now.
‘Shall we pretend our front yards are an ocean, Walter? Shall we reach for each other across half the world?’
I suspect she’s imitating an actress, but if so, not one I know. She pouts, either as part of the act or for real. Her damp lower lip and welling eyes bewitch me.

Walter, a child prodigy who now works on Wall Street, considers himself a father figure to Amanda, his daughter’s best friend and only child of a neglectful single mother. But when he loses his job after the 2008 financial crisis and his materialistic wife leaves him, taking their daughter, his relationship with Amanda enters a precarious new stage.

Walter struggles to give her the affection and guidance she needs, without succumbing to her budding sexuality. In the year before she enters high school, these two lonely souls will transform each other as Walter breaks out of his emotional shell, and Amanda blossoms into adolescence.

In a world that has always failed to protect its most vulnerable, The Best of Crimes is a new narrative and an unconventional love story that will challenge your perception of right and wrong.

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About the author

K.C. Maher’s short fiction has appeared in literary journals including Ascent, Black Warrior Review, Confrontation, Cottonwood, Gargoyle, and The View From Here. Her work has reached short-list status in various contests, including the Iowa School of Letters Award and Drue Heinz Literature Prize. The is her debut novel. She is mother to two children and lives in New York City with her husband

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