“One of the fresh citizens to land in Calvin was a certain Marty Kilbride. Aged thirty-five, he appeared younger and materialised at over six foot with a head of neatly combed dark brown hair with a corresponding moustache. He dressed in a suit with matching waistcoat of grey that always appeared pressed besides absent of dirt and dust, which resulted as an achievement for that section of the country.” A mysterious man wooed a whole town in The Two Faces of Killer Kilbride by Robert E. Kearns. Yet, who is Marty Kilbride? And why he does always dismiss the question of his past?
The ambiance and period of the setting serve the story’s dark element well. The Two Faces of Killer Kilbride is an apt title; the townsfolk are enthralled with the lead character so much that they appointed him as the mayor. It seems they made the right choice until this likable man shows his dark side to the ones who are unfortunate enough to be his victims. Kilbride is so infallible that an unexpected turn of events only rattled him a bit. Nevertheless, I’ll say no more, just know that this short story will make readers ponder about the real 'Kilbrides' out there who know how to woo and eventually silent their unsuspected victims. With lyrical but tight prose, Kearns gives readers an enjoyable dark story that definitely has the potential to be more. All in all, this is a good short read and I look forward to reading more of Kearns's work.