Meat-Wagon Mike’s Change of Heart is Greg Levin’s contribution to Colin Conway’s Back Road Bobby and His Friends, a 509 Crime Anthology. Mike is a paramedic with a stealing habit. You know from the beginning that something is going to go wrong. Then its like, well, that wasn’t so bad. Neither was that. And then, well, yeah, there ya go.
This is another story where if you cheer for the lead character, you wonder what it says about you. Mike is a paramedic, maybe a good one, maybe not so good. What he is good at is lightening the load of the recently deceased by taking their watches, jewelry, cash, etc. Years ago, he made a mistake and stole from an injured (but not dead) Handbrake Hardy Frye. Now, like everyone else in the 509, he’s trying to get to Handbrake.
Mike makes no apologies for who he is, which kinda makes him likable. And, like so many of us, when he tries to do the right thing, everything goes to hell. 5-stars for this lightning paced story.