There's a new name to add to the pantheon of the sons and daughters of Cain: Dave Zeltserman. His new novel, Small Crimes, is ingeniously twisted and imbued with a glossy coating of black humor.
Crooked cop Joe Denton gets out of prison early after disfiguring the local district attorney, which doesn't help his popularity. Nobody wants Joe to hang around, not his ex-wife, his parents or his former colleagues.
Meanwhile, local mafia don Manny Vassey is dying of cancer and keen to cut a deal with God. He's thinking of singing to the DA if this will set him up for a better afterlife. And he knows stuff that will send Joe down again for a very long time.
"The plot of Small Crimes ricochets out from it's claustrophobic opening, and it's a thing of sordid beauty." (Maureen Corrigan, for NPR's Best Books of 2008)
“The plot of Small Crimes is a thing of beauty: spare but ingeniously twisted and imbued with a glossy coating of black humor. Zeltserman takes up all the familiar tropes of the formula… and shows how infinite are the combinations that can still be played on them.” (The Washington Post)
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A Satisfying Noir