Monday, March 24, 2014
One For My Baby by Barry Graham
Clear motives, menacing characters, the right amount of raunch, and quick violence are all pack tight into this short, sharp, lean and mean noiry tale. It was the perfect Sunday morning read for me.
What Happens in Reno by Mike Monson
I've got a lot of nits to pick with this book and I think it gets off to a shaky start but, once it gets going it mostly works. What Happens in Reno features a four way race to the bottom that will entice most noir readers.
Federales by Chris Irvin
A strong novella and one of the better pieces of fiction I've read so far this year. The narrative is very tight and, at times, it reminded me of Man on Fire (a movie I loved). I thought that the book took a really interesting turn late in the story that I would have liked to see Irvin spend more time exploring.
And the Hills Opened Up by David Oppegaard
I've read a few weird westerns lately and this one separates itself from the pack by being a western first and foremost and then introducing the weird in a really subtle, but effective way. We get to know the town, then we get to know all of the characters, then the other is introduced. (I basically used the various cast members of Deadwood to voice the different characters in the book -- don't judge me.)
The Door That Faced West by Alan M Clark
Tells the story of The Harpe Brothers via the perspective of the youngest of their wives in a brilliant narrative voice that fits in with Mattie Ross (True Grit) and Ree Dolly (Winter's Bone). An outstanding book that fires on all cylinders and succeeds on many levels.