cover image H.N.I.C.


Albert “Prodigy” Johnson, with Steven Savile. Akashic/Infamous, $19.95 (128p) ISBN 978-1-61775-232-2

The urban setting is unnamed but familiar in this brief, bloody tale of wasted lives lived short and hard, the first offering from Akashic’s new Infamous Books imprint. Patrick “Pappy” Carter hopes to score enough money to leave town and use his self-taught computer skills to start a new life. Unpredictable Maurice Black loves only the adrenaline rush of being in control and in danger regardless of risk. Black’s girlfriend, Tonya Deal, operates in a drug-induced fog and suffers whatever treatment Black subjects her to while secretly caring for Carter. Carter’s “last job” with Black and his crew goes bad quickly: a man is killed, and the gang leaves empty-handed. A spiral of violence begins with Black’s insistence on one more job, which Carter is powerless to resist and which will test his love, loyalty, and survival skills. Rapper Johnson (of Mobb Deep) and fantasy writer Savile (The Hollow Earth) only skim the emotional surface of this all-too-common human tragedy. (Sept.)