cover image Ranchero


Rick Gavin. Minotaur, $24.99 (272p) ISBN 978-0-312-58318-7

Full of inspired comic hyperbole, Gavin’s rollicking debut does for the Mississippi Delta what Tim Dorsey and Carl Hiaasen do for Florida. Former cop Nick Reid works for K-Lo’s rental shop in Indianola, Miss., repossessing TVs and such from people delinquent on their payments. Which is how he meets Percy Dwayne Dubois, gets hit on the head, and loses the 1969 Ranchero his landlady loaned him, “essentially a glorified Fairlane, which never rated glorification.” Determined to retrieve the stolen car, Reid calls on Desmond, a huge black colleague, to help him, and the fun begins as the pair crisscross the Delta, “less a place than a boot on your neck.” Reid and Desmond work their way through a series of lowlifes from Dubois’s cousin Luther to Acadian meth lord Guy (pronounced Gee), all the while trying to avoid Dale, a crooked, muscle-bound county cop. Readers will eagerly await Reid’s next adventure in the Delta. (Nov.)