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Review: Fierce Bitches by Jedidiah Ayres

Chris Leek
Independent Reviewer
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Right, if you are all done hunting for eggs and eating chocolate, lets get back in the Gutter and take a look at Jedidiah Ayres new novella, Fierce Bitches, which is brought to you by that Australian (don’t mention the cricket) powerhouse of Noir, Crime Factory.
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Welcome to Politburo, a sweltering hell-hole of dust and heat somewhere south of the Mexican border. This shanty town doesn’t appear on any maps and its residents don’t appear on any census. Politoburg is a dumping ground for the gringos thugs and Mexican whores who have all become surplus to the requirements of their North American crime boss.  

At first the gringos take their boss at his word and head south to lay low until the heat dies down back home. But the heat in Politoburg is oppressive and they soon begin to understand that this is a one way trip. If they are a little slow to understand this, then local enforcer, Ramon will enlighten them with his baseball bat. This is nothing new for the girls; they are used to not having the luxury of a choice. Most of them were kidnapped from their villages and forced into the sex trade at a young age. When their looks start to fade or their ‘owners’ grow tired of them, they find themselves shipped off to Politoburg on the town’s weekly supply truck along with other gringo essentials, such as dope and booze.
Everyone in this town dreams of escape, even if they only want to escape from themselves. Many have died trying, maybe one day somebody will make it out.

If I had to write a one word review of Fierce Bitches I would have to go with, wow! This brutal and savage story is told from intertwined, multiple POVs that meld seamlessly together and allow the hidden beauty of the tale to shine through all the blood and the violence. Jedidiah Ayres has delivered a hell of a book. Rarely have I come across an author who is capable of such rich and surprising prose. His narrative voice is both intoxicating and addictive.
Fierce Bitches may have arrived too late for this years Spinetingler award nominations, but it’s a shoo-in for 2014.  

Talking of which, congratulations to Gutter affiliates Brain Panowich and Pete Risley who have both been nominated in the category 'Best short story on the web' for stories that appeared right here at OOTG online.