Over at the Murder is Everywhere blog, Tim Hallihan has an essay about readers who take offense. http://murderiseverywhere.blogspot.com/2011/02/taking-offense.html
I've been on the receiving end of that kind of rant for some of my short stories and it always puzzles me. A story I wrote this past year, "A Soiled Afternoon", came under fire for the awful way I murdered the mother in the story. I told the man he should read the story again because nowhere in that story was the woman killed. Was it implied? Yes, but not a shot was fired, nor a bloody corpse seen, except for a pair of skinned rabbits.
I think one thing we tend to forget as writers is the reader's imagination. Sometimes it's bigger than our own and a few well-chosen words can take them to places even we couldn't imagine going. And if we're good enough writers, the reader isn't able to separate the words they're reading from the story unfolding in their heads. For better or worse, the reader is our partner.
Oh, and if you're interested in the story that spawned the musings in this post you can read it here http://thrillskillsnchills.blogspot.com/2010/09/soiled-afternoon-by-sandra-seamans.html