Write It Sideways

Excerpt Critique: ‘Her Mother’s Lie,’ Women’s Fiction

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Her Mother’s Lie

Women’s Fiction

Without her boots she was vulnerable. Manda vowed to never take them off, at least in a situation where she needed to be strong, to stand her ground, to face that demon inside of her, the murderer that she was. A murderer? Is that what she was? Well, Gus thought so. And even though Noah insisted that that wasn’t the case, she was inclined to believe him. After all, Gus was the authority, right?

Gus was a detective on the Chicago P.D.: Organized Crime Division. Before that, though, he was a regular cop with a beat, who saw regular murderers all the time; he knew murderers. Gus was an excellent detective: he never left a single case he worked on in twelve years unsolved.  He was strong and confident, dark and handsome, and when he walked into a room, people knew that he was there. But underneath his calloused exterior, he was incredibly different: self-critical and very angry.

Noah and Gus were her older brothers. Noah and Manda had been very close, especially since their parents had died. But that same incident that casused brother and sister to bond, also caused Gus to change for the worse. Gus took every setback, every hurt out on Manda, and she accepted that as her punishment. She had just moved back to Chicago, six months ago, after five years of living in Boston, and had not yet seen Gus.

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