I’d been looking forward to reading Ketchum’s THE CROSSING since it came out. Stephen King mentioning it at the 2003 National Book Awards where he received an honor cemented my wanting to read it. Now, after 16 years have somehow passed, I’ve finally read it. It’s really good. It’s got Ketchum’s violence and gore, sure, but it’s also got his heart, the thing many seem to miss on his tales. The writing is different than one might expect, too, but feels right for the story. I recommend it.
Just finished reading Ketchum’s “The Crossings”, the perfect length for a one evening read. He has his story well in hand and grips you along with it, tells it straight. The situation reminds me some of Cormac McCarthy’s border trilogy, minus McCarthy’s overarching style which, though engrossing, can grow tedious. Here, with Ketchum, the action and characters play more vivid, utterly so. Grim and spare, not one word or comma more than needed, he puts you there, in the moment. Blunt, brutal, and believable...
At barely 100 pages it's a short, nasty piece of work about three cowboys who help a young Mexican woman rescue her sister from a sex slave cult that worships the Aztec gods. It moves like a bullet with not a word wasted and it ends with a shootout set-piece that would give Walter Hill an orgasm.
A great thing about having a Kindle is that you can sometimes get rare and out of print stuff like this. It only cost me $4 and it was a great afternoon's reading. I'd spend more than that renting a movie.
Highly recommended for both Ketchum fans as well as fans of dark, hard-boiled westerns.
I'm now into my fourth book by Jack Ketchum in as many days. I can't get enough. He's just getting better and better. I like The Crossing the best. Not as much gore, but great descriptive writing that makes you want more. Can't wait to read another. Sad to see this book end.