Friday, November 5, 2021

#56: Slow Bear by Anthony Neil Smith

 A former cop on a North Dakota Indian reservation tries to follow his tarnished code of ethics, but his own phantoms keep getting in the way, in Anthony Neil Smith's relentlessly grim noir Slow Bear.

Smith is a tough-minded crime writer who sets his books in bleak midwestern settings.  This short, blistering novel seems to be the first of a series (or has a pretty nihilistic ending).  

In it, Micah "Slow Bear" Cross, wounded physically and emotionally, is at the dead end of a dead-end town but gets modest comfort from a bartender he befriends.  When misfortune befalls her, Cross sets out to tackle a crime boss, with fatalistic results.

I would think this blog's readers, seeing the adjectives I've used above, would understand that this is as black a chunk of noir as you come across in contemporary writing.  If not, fair warning.  

Enjoyable for crime fans who like their narratives as dark.

I bought this from Fahrenheit Press and read it quickly.

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