Three Drops of Blood and a Cloud of Cocaine

Quentin Mouron, trans. from the French by W. Donald Wilson. Bitter Lemon, $14.95 trade paper (232p) ISBN 978-1-908524-83-6
Mouron makes his English-language debut with a knife-edged noir set in Watertown, Mass., which combines spare prose with a compelling murder mystery plot. Sheriff Paul McCarthy must deal with an unusual homicide; his decades-long casual acquaintance, Jimmy Henderson, has had his throat cut while sitting in his pickup truck on a quiet street one night. Beforehand, the killer slashed Henderson’s eyes, cut out his tongue, and gashed his cheeks. Nothing was stolen, and there seems to be no motive for the killing and the subsequent butchery. There is, however, an obvious suspect—drug dealer Alexander Marshall, a local ne’er-do-well with a record for attempted homicide, who shacked up with Henderson’s daughter, Laura, and sexually abused her child. But McCarthy is unwilling to settle for an easy answer to the case. Cornell Woolrich readers will recognize Mouron’s portrayals of “simple folk, disturbed by life,” who “commit only rational murders, justified by drunkenness or necessity and tempered by tears and regrets.” (June)
Reviewed on: 04/24/2017
Release date: 06/01/2017
Genre: Fiction
Ebook - 232 pages - 978-1-908524-84-3
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