cover image The Art of Redemption

The Art of Redemption

Bob Truluck, . . Dennis McMillan, $35 (296pp) ISBN 978-0-939767-56-4

The notoriously wild Truluck (Street Level ) out-wilds himself with Joe Ready, a 98-year-old cop turned PI turned vigilante, and Ready’s younger partner, Jimmy Cotton. Ready and Cotton met when Ready was already old and supposedly retired, and Cotton was a young man scarred and scared by the 1970 shootings at Kent State. The two formed a relationship around Cotton’s desire to soak up Ready’s tall tales, liquor and dope. Years later, the tables are turned and Cotton must recount Ready’s exploits to entertain the dying old man, even though he’s pretty sure Ready was never actually mixed up with Machine Gun Kelly, Meyer Lansky, tough guys in Cuba, kidnappings and Ready’s perennial nemesis, Pearlie Friedman. Turns out the tales are true, Ready’s not really retired and Cotton’s being seduced—or drafted—into Ready’s world. Truluck’s pulpy prose is spot on, and his vision and voice remain among the most original in a genre too often reduced to formula. (Aug.)