Easy Death

Daniel Boyd. Hard Case Crime, $9.95 trade paper (240p) ISBN 978-0-85768-579-7
Set in December 1951, Boyd’s winning first crime novel will appeal to classic noir aficionados and retro hipsters alike. Bud Sweeney (called “Brother Sweetie” behind his back), local car dealer and Midwestern crime boss, sends several of his henchmen out into a blizzard, one posing as a police officer, to intercept and rob an armored car. WWII vets Eddie and Walter, one white and the other black, make off with the loot, but get into a real mess trying to keep it when they step into an odd subplot involving a formidable female park ranger and her drunken, psychotic boss. The wild narrative jumps back and forth over a 24-hour period before and after the heist. Besides writing convincingly about cops and criminals, Boyd (Nada), the pseudonym of a former police chief in central Ohio, captures the feel of postwar smalltown America, and even manages to get in some telling commentary on the period’s racial prejudice. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/22/2014
Release date: 11/11/2014
Genre: Fiction
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