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.
©2008 Dave Zeltserman; (P)2009 Audible, Inc.
"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)
I have to chime in, if only to defend narrator Joe Barrett. He is not, as the lone other review up states "the worst." His gravelly voice is perfect for this kind of hard-nosed crime novel, and his performance is great.
The book itself is also very good, tightly plotted and full of interesting twists. It lost a star for me in literally the last 30 seconds, which I won't spoil here. Suffice it to say the final lines made me roll my eyes pretty hard, but they didn't ruin the book for me. I'd still recommend it. It's not as good as Zeltserman's other book, the stunningly great "Pariah," but it's not bad.
For how long and in how many ways can you listen to someone feel sorry for himself? Self pity and bad judgment abound. The narration is the single bright note. It is the only reason I am continuing to slog my way through.
save your money but more importantly your time...this narrator is the worst and i mean the worst...it takes the author almost the whole book to get things moving along...and when it starts it is most disapointing...pass on this one
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