Jason Sanford. Peacemaker, Peacemaker, Little Bo Peep. (Interzone #231, Nov/Dec 2010)

Strange forces are at work, causing the general population to react violently to those who use violence – whatever side of the law those people are on.

Hauled in front of a baying crowd of neighbours, a policewoman, handcuffed to a murderous rapist in her charge, finds that she has to make some difficult decisions, and to side with him, in order to survive. The sting in the tail is the cause of these events, and what is likely to happen now that most of the people willing and able to commit violence have been removed from society.

The story uses a fairly extreme conceit to set up the conflict, and the murderous rapist is also a really, really nasty serial murdering rapists, just to make the contrast and the moral dilemma as stark as possible, when perhaps a little more subtlety might have been employed.

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