Monday, December 7, 2009

#48: Citizen Vince by Jess Walter

On the eve of the 1980 presidential election, a semi-reformed criminal in the Witness Protection Program makes one last attempt to bury his past in Jess Walter's darkly comic crime novel Citizen Vince.

With its engaging characters, spot-on dialogue, and sense of time and place (early 80s Spokane) Walter brings to mind some of the best work of Elmore Leonard, Lawrence Block, and Ed McBain. Really fine writing--especially in creating a parallel story between our protagonist's troubles and the Reagan/Carter race--gives Citizen Vince a more literary bent.

I plucked this novel out of a 25-cent library book sale with no preconceived notions and found it to be highly enjoyable and engaging read. A cut above for mystery fans.

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