The internet offers crime and mystery readers hundreds of free short stories, some okay, some great, some examples of the very best in storytelling. Here are links to places The Famous Author and I regularly check out, including Thuglit, Beat to a Pulp, Thrillers, Chillers 'N' Killers, and Spinetingler.
And here's a link to a prize-winning story by Chris F. Holm called Seven Days of Rain. It's a story every short story writer should read. It has everything -- character, tension, and a masterful weave of past and present making both tales explode at the end. It's a wow.
Chris is well known for his short story skills. We bet the novel in progress is going to be a big winner, too.