It is time for another short fiction review and I again turned to that repository of in which anything goes: Smashwords. I decided to go with a short story that had a title that intrigued me a bit and see what I would find. With that in mind, I started “The Accidental Exorcist” by Joshua Graham.
Abigail Lee is a forensic psychologist that is often called upon to meet the worst criminals to determine if they are fit for trial or legally insane. She takes her job seriously and goes about it in a completely professional and scientific manner. This all changes when she meets a mother who has killed her children but does not quite fit the profile that Abigail was expecting to encounter. She quickly begins to suspect that there could be something more at play here and her investigation into the matter will test not only her will but her entire belief system as well.
“The Accidental Exorcist” is an interesting short story and one of the better stories I have read off of Smashwords recently. Graham does a good job setting up the story and provides an interesting premise for a story about an exorcism. The story does not hold together all that well once Abigail begins to look into the idea of something beyond the ordinary in the case and I think that this is due to the form of the story rather than a problem with the story itself. Simply put, this is a story that would be better suited to a longer form, either a novella or a novel, than a short story. Once the story is set up, Graham seems to almost hurry through it in order to keep it short rather than explore the possibilities that it presents. Still, “The Accidental Exorcist” is well worth the few minutes that it takes to read the story. I would be interested to see this story expanded upon as I think it would be much better and hope that Graham decides to do so sometime in the future.