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review 2016-03-23 00:00
Indian Country Noir
Indian Country Noir - Sarah Cortez,Liz Martinez Indian Country Noir is a collection of noir tales focusing on Native Americans.

Helper: As two men are coming for him, Indian Charlie remembers the past deeds that brought them to him. This story starts the collection with some action and dirty deeds. Good stuff.

Osprey Lake: On the run after a hold up, Don and Heather hole up in a secluded cabin built on a sacred hill. I could feel the biting cold while reading this. I felt bad for Heather as the situation unfolded.

Dead Medicine Snake Woman: A former marine sees a woman thrown off a subway platform and tries to help. But does the woman really exist? This was an interesting tale but I'm not precisely sure what happened. Was it a tale of a man fighting a monster or fighting the monsters inside himself?

Indian Time: Fred, an Indian man, gets time with his kids for the first time in two years. He and his girlfriend teach them about their heritage. This was an emotional tale with a great ending.

On Drowning Pond: A homeless woman drowns in a pond under suspicious circumstances. In the years following, numerous men are found dead under similar conditions. This one was pretty spooky and illuminates the plight of Native American alcoholics.

Daddy's Girl: Daniel Carson is hired to track down a missing girl and retrieve some stolen money. Will he bring her back alive?

This one was a fairly standard PI tale with a Native American lead. The ending surprised the shit out of me.

The Raven and the Wolf: Detective John Raven Beau is hunting for the killer of a cop, a man calling himself The Wolf.

This one reminded me of the last one, only the Native American lead is a cop, not a PI. So far, The Raven and the Wolf is neck and neck with Daddy's Girl as the best story in the book.

Juracan: Papo goes to Puerto Rico for a wedding and gets entangled in sinister dealings involving the Taino, the indigenous people of Puerto Rico.

This one was long and convoluted. I'd be lying if I said I enjoyed it. The Taino culture was interesting, though.

JaneJohnDoe.com A deposed drug dealer forces a PI to create a new identity for her in exchange for a list of meth dealers on all Indian reservations.

This one had some twists and turns. The ending was pretty sweet.

Lame Elk: After a beating during a drunken bender, a man offers Lame Elk a chance to turn his life around.

This was a touching, depressing tale about an alcoholic not really being given a chance to make things right.

Another Role: Washed up Indian actor Harry Garson gets tapped to play the role of a lifetime. But is it too good to be true?

Yes, yes it was. Another Role was a tale of double and triple crosses. Pretty good.

Getting Lucky: Lucretia "Lucky" Eagle Feather meets a gambler in an Indian reservation casino in Michigan. Will he get Lucky?

Lawrence Block penned this tale and it's one of the stars of the show. There's some kink and a great twist ending, as befits the master.

Prowling Wolves: Ira Hayes struggles with drink and flashbacks after Iwo Jima.

This was a pretty powerful tale.

Quilt like a Night Sky: Boone Lone Rider finally comes home.

Geez, this was a dark note to end the anthology on. Another story of a Native American laid low by substance abuse.

End Thoughts: I thought this collection was much better than the last Akashic Noir book I read, [b:Prison Noir|20702486|Prison Noir|Joyce Carol Oates|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1400955446s/20702486.jpg|40022331]. The best stories of the collection, in my opinion, were Getting Lucky, Daddy's Girl, and The Raven and the Wolf. Four out of five stars.

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review 2014-01-26 17:30
Winter's Bone-Daniel Woodrell
Winter's Bone - Daniel Woodrell

What a wonderfully dark, but beautiful book...

It's hard to describe a book like this and get it right, it's so deeply lyrical with solitary beauty. Nature, red tooth and nail comes to mind, but also the inhuman nature of man. Ree is such a strong well drawn character with the world upon her shoulder. We start out knowing Ree is the caretaker for both of her younger brothers and her mentally adrift mother, Ree is only sixteen herself. Her father, who has been known to be off for days/weeks a time, is now missing and has skipped bail. If he doesn't show up for his next shortly upcoming court date the house will be repossessed, leaving Ree, her two brothers, and her mother to "live in the field like dogs". She then begins her labyrinth through the winter wilderness of her long-stretching, cult-like, meth addicted family called the Dollys to search for her father.

There is good bit of action in this book, but I found myself looking towards the quiet scenes with breathtaking admiration. Daniel Woodrell can write.

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review 2013-10-06 19:31
Father and Son by Larry Brown
Father and Son - Larry Brown

I know it's very different setting, but I heard it all the time while reading Father and Son:


I was driving up from Tampa

When the radiator burst

I was three sheets to the wind

A civilian saw me first

And then there was the cop

And then the children standing on the corner


Your love is like a cyclone in a swamp

And the weather's getting warmer


I was getting out of jail

Heading to the Greyhound

You said you'd hop on one yourself

And meet me on the way down

I was shaking way too hard to think

Dead on my feet about to drop

Went and got the case of vodka from a car

And walked the two miles to the bus stop

Got on the bus half drunk again

The driver glared at me

Met up with you in Inglis

Thumbed a ride to Cedar Key

If we never make it back to California

I want you to know I love you

But my love is like a dark cloud full of rain

That's always right there up above you


The blurb says that it all about evil eating up man's soul. There's no good and there's no evil. The book of Larry Brown is beautiful and terrifying story. It's rough and heartwrenching at the same time, full of violence and yet I couldn't stop reading.


Highly recommended.

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review 2013-09-27 15:17
Weirdo by Cathi Unsworth
Weirdo - Cathi Unsworth

Read on September 24, 2013


My lately favourite genres are southern gothic and its variant,stripped from any kind of spirituality or paranormal motifs, country noir.


Weirdo is the great example of the second genre (even if there was some hints of paranormal stuff), only with a much different setting - it's Norfolk, England.


The main character, Sam Ward, reinvestigates a cold case, twenty year old Satanic ritualised murder, supposing miscarriage of justice. The guilty one is Corrine Woodrow, imprisoned for life in the mental institution. As he digs, he sinks deeper in deeper in complicated web of small town's connections.


The writing is good, the split narrative doesn't confuse the reader (it happens a lot), the plot is very interesting. All of this makes Weirdo a real page turner. I've read it in one sitting.

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