Point Blank

A Short Tale of Macabre Family Faults

Fiction - Mystery - Murder
42 Pages
Reviewed on 01/30/2016
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Justine Avery is an award-winning author of stories large and small for all. Born in the American Midwest and raised all over the world, she is inherently an explorer, duly fascinated by everything around her and excitedly noting the stories that abound all around. As an avid reader of all genres, she weaves her own stories among them all. She has a predilection for writing speculative fiction and story twists and surprises she can’t even predict herself.

Avery has either lived in or explored all 50 states of the union, over 36 countries, and all but one continent; she lost count after moving 30-some times before the age of 20. She’s intentionally jumped out of airplanes and off the highest bungee jump in New Zealand, scuba dived unintentionally with sharks, designed websites, intranets, and technical manuals, bartered with indigenous Panamanians, welded automobile frames, observed at the Bujinkan Hombu Dojo in Noba, Japan, and masterminded prosperous internet businesses—to name a few adventures. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree that life has never required, and at age 28, she sold everything she owned and quit corporate life—and her final "job"—to freelance and travel the world as she always dreamed of. And she’s never looked back.

She currently lives near Los Angeles with her husband, British film director Devon Avery, and their three adopted children: Becks, Sam, and Lia. She writes from wherever her curiosity takes her.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite

Point Blank: A Short Tale of Macabre Family Faults is a short story murder mystery written by Justine Avery. Michael never realized that she was this insane, though she had terrorized him his whole life. Now, with the gun pressing down into his skull, he could smell his mother’s fetid breath as she demanded that he write his father’s last will. He was a writer, after all, she had gloated, until she had finally given up and slammed him into unconsciousness with the butt of her gun. Michael, the would-be writer, was a disappointment to his parents, unlike his younger brother, Tim, who had a real job, a wife and a family. When he regained consciousness, Michael rushed to his brother’s house to tell him what happened, but Tim was skeptical of course, and refused to take the drive. When Michael reluctantly returned alone to the estate, he was horrified when he heard his mother returning to the library, and quickly hid in the concealed closet he’d known about since he was a child. She was dragging something heavy and in his mind he conjured up the horrific image of his murdered father.

Justine Avery’s dark short story, Point Blank: A Short Tale of Macabre Family Faults, is a disarmingly clever black comedy about a would-be writer with a lifelong writer’s block and his long-suffering parents. Michael and Tim’s mother is convincingly terrifying, and Avery’s descriptions of her are bound to provoke shudders in the most hardened horror fans’ hearts. This well-written and atmospheric story is suspenseful and well-plotted. You can feel the despair and cold chill in the large estate house, and sense the dread Michael feels at the approach of his mother. One can’t help but wonder how he had managed to stay sane in that house for his forty plus years, a captive audience for his mother and father, who remind him all too vividly of his failures. Point Blank’s rich images are stark and unforgettable, and the story is a sterling example of just how good horror can get. It’s highly recommended.

R Gibbs

this short story is full of surprises, Great read. Interesting twist as usual with this clever writer.


Even the twists have twists! You know a story is good when you intend to read the first page and save the rest for later but fail to put it down until finished. Justine's style of writing never fails to grip me, love the plots, the humor and the attention to detail. If you have read other Justine Avery stories then you will love this, if you haven't read the others then you will want to after reading this!