The Adjustment

Scott Phillips, Author
Scott Phillips. Counterpoint, $25 (224p) ISBN 978-1-58243-730-9
Reviewed on: 06/06/2011
Release date: 07/01/2011
Open Ebook - 222 pages - 978-1-58243-896-2
Hardcover - 978-1-60747-730-3
Paperback - 224 pages - 978-1-58243-823-8
Open Ebook - 225 pages - 978-1-281-60572-6
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Set in post-WWII Kansas, Phillips's gritty noir manages to hook the reader with one of the more repellant leads in recent memory, Wayne Ogden, who appeared in the closing section of The Walkaway (2003). Having spent his wartime army service as a corrupt quartermaster and a pimp, Ogden finds adjusting to civilian life a strain. He takes no joy in his wife being pregnant. Nominally working in publicity and marketing for Everett Collins, the owner of a Wichita aircraft company, Ogden actually serves Collins as a troubleshooter and procurer, roles that enable him to keep fresh the unscrupulous skills he developed overseas. As anonymous threatening letters related to his activities during the war begin to arrive, Ogden maneuvers to gain greater control over Collins, while engaging in sex with any warm female body within view. The author's unapologetic depiction of a thoroughly bad egg will appeal to hard-boiled fans who don't need redeeming features to become engaged with a character. (Aug.)
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