In the last year, I've read a lot of short fiction, from novelettes down to collections of "drabbles" (100 word flash fiction stories). Judging works of different lengths was difficult until I realized the same rules applied. While more focused, to make a good read, shorter works require the same elements as a novel, only less. You need enough characterization to understand the motivations, history, and personality of the character for the specific story. Too much detail is bad, just like trying to give too much detail about a character in a novel. The same concept applies to plot or any other story element we might think of.
This story hit the mark. We learn a lot about Dan Cooper, the protagonist, because as the main character and narrator we need to understand him the most. Gomez fills us in on life events that brought him to his situation as the story starts. We understand his motivations and why he reacts the way he does. The minor characters we get to know just enough, but not too much. The plot is tightly focused and appropriate for the length. Last, there is a twist at the end, which I especially appreciate in short fiction.
**Originally written for "Books and Pals" book blog. May have received a free review copy. **