A meandering crime story with a rough-and-tumble noir edge, National Book Award finalist Madison Smartt Bell's Save Me, Joe Louis follows Macrae and Charlie as they move from small-time ATM holdups in New York City to higher-stakes crime, eventually fleeing their violence for solace in the South. Nick Sullivan, a prolific audiobook voice actor and a master of accents, performs the tale with aplomb, bringing characters alive with memorable voices and inflection. Richly detailed and engrossing, Save Me, Joe Louis entertains to the very last word.
Macrae is living pretty close to the edge in the inhospitable rush of Manhattan. He and Charlie make their bread, such as it is, by a fairly clever scheme of forcing their vitims to withdraw money from bank cash machines. It's not very lucrative, but it's not very risky either. They become involved in darker matters, and Macrae indulges in an incomparably brutal act of vengeance, which is not really his style - Charlie is the one with psychotic tendencies.
The pair moves on to Baltimore, where they hook up with a black ex-con called Porter, from whom Macrae begins to learn "the perils of living... an unexamined life." With crime as their livelihood, the three move on to the rural South. It is here that Macrae will rediscover Lacy, an old flame, who will perhaps help him find his balance in his topsy-turvy world of perpetual distemper.