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Reviewed by Lit Amri for Readers' Favorite
“He breathed in the cool, damp mountain air in slow, deliberate gulps, relishing every molecule of the now peaceful night. A single, muffled gunshot echoed out from the peculiar house… lives were extinguished from the narrow valley on one dreadful evening.” Technician and lifelong motorcycle enthusiast Eric was enjoying his Sunday morning mountain ride when he collided with the pickup truck of brothers Donny and Larson. Expecting the men to own up to their mistake, Eric is instead threatened with a gun. Life Inches is my second reading of P.D. Platt’s work. Just like Autumn Choice, the narrative of Life Inches is sublime, and this time it confronts the idea of survival that literally pushes one of its characters over the edge.
Noticeably, motorcycles and the joys of riding are recurring aspects for one of the protagonists, which perhaps shows Platt’s own personal interest. Alternating the POV helps to fully realize the characters. The primeval aspect of the story is channeled through the characters’ survival instincts, along with anger, pain, and fear. Eric may seem the obvious choice as the one that readers should root for from the start, but the contemplative side of Donny and Larson shows that they are not categorically evil. Before the story ends, Platt deftly gives readers a juxtaposition between self-preservation and self-termination; a man who tries to survive at all costs and another who decides to end his life. Tense and ruthless, Life Inches is another substantive and thoughtful short read from Platt.