I downloaded The Gingerbread Girl as an audiobook. which lasted about 2 1/2 hours, so I’m not sure if it’s a short story or a novella or falls somewhere in between. As far as Stephen King stories go, it’s a little dull (she says of a tale about a serial killer), but not a bad way to kill (ha!) a couple of hours.
Emily’s daughter dies of crib death at two months old, and Emily goes a bit crazy. She begins running, and doesn’t stop until she’s separated from her husband and living in her father’s “conch shack” in the Florida Keys. She keeps up her runs, going up and down the beach and through her neighborhood day after day. One day, she stumbles across a dead body, and when she’s caught, bad things happen to Em (although of all the bad things, the dead baby is still the worst and totally the saddest/scariest part of the whole thing).
My major problem with this story is that if Em had just picked up her damn cell phone when she saw the dead body — in broad daylight, in her neighbor’s driveway –and called the damn cops, everything would have been avoided. Instead, she goes sniffing around and gets herself nabbed by the bad guy (the description of the book implies that the serial killer hunts her down, but really she just bumps into him in the street — the guy wasn’t even looking for her dumb ass). However, setting aside her moment of stupidity, Em isn’t a bad heroine. She uses her wits and her running muscles and manages to escape. But still — don’t go investigating dead bodies in your neighbor’s trunks, okay?