Sunday, May 5, 2013


There's so much good recent noir around that it gets difficult sometimes to choose what to read next.  But I've had a lot of fun recently reading novella-length noirs by contemporary practitioners of the form who are really good.  One was by Jake Hinkson, his novella THE POSTHUMOUS MAN. This is pure, one hundred per cent proof, kick you in the guts noir. There's not a single wasted word in the novella, which starts out with the main character Elliot on his way to the hospital after a suicide attempt. He "dies" for a few minutes, but then the doctors manage to bring him back to life, and it's all downhill from there for him as a nurse at the hospital lures him into getting involved in a scheme to steal  an entire Oxycontin shipment headed to the hospital.  A lot is packed into its short length but the pacing is absolutely perfect and the character development full.  Elliot's tour through a garbage dump site where he has to dispose of some particularly important "merchandise" is like a tour through hell, yet at times darkly funny.  This is a book Jim Thompson or Charles Willeford could have written - as noir goes, that good.   Can't wait to read Hinkson's first novel, HELL ON CHURCH STREET, which like THE POSTHUMOUS MAN is set in Arkansas, a place Hinkson clearly knows well.    

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