Past perfect tense

Death by Past Perfect

Death by Past Perfect

I recently read a good short story, "Dry Whiskey" by David B. Silva (The Best American Mystery Stories 1999, ed. Ed McBain). The story builds unassumingly to a subtly powerful ending. However, the author struggles with the use of past perfect tense, enough so that it interferes with a smooth reading experience.

Past perfect tense is formed by combining the auxiliary verb had with a verb's past participle (had written, for example).