Return to Spring, A, By Gabriel Hart, 40 pgs.

I didn’t know about the Spring Break Riots of 1986 in Palm Springs before this pocket-sized novella arrived at my place. Briefly: a bunch of drunken yahoos started pouring water onto people in the street and driving by in convertibles—which escalated into women’s tops being pulled off, followed by violence. Gabriel Hart uses this event as the foundation for A Return to Spring. A modern-day bartender and her friend, both involved in the riot, are confronted by a man who has unearthed video footage of the pair, seeking to blackmail them.

This is the second of Gabriel Hart’s books I’ve read: in issue 120 I reviewed Virgins in Reverse & The Intrusion, twin novellas which demanded readers scrutinize their expectations and understanding of the noir form. Here, Hart continues to upend expectations by subverting revenge fantasy form. A quick read, but plenty to chew on. –Michael T. Fournier (Mannsion Press, mannisonpress.com)