cover image Assumption


Percival Everett. Graywolf, $15 trade paper (272p) ISBN 978-1-55597-598-2

Everett, who has put his uniquely wacky spin on genres from Greek myths to westerns, does the same for crime fiction in his effective follow-up to I Am Not Sidney Poitier. Deputy Ogden Walker, the son of a black father and a white mother, investigates cases for Sheriff Bucky Paz in a “hick-full, redneck county” of New Mexico. He takes a gun away from elderly Emma Bickers after she alarms neighbors by shooting through her door at an unknown figure. Then four bodies turn up at a camp site, including one Ogden spotted in a photo at Bickers’s house. He helps Caitlin Alison, who’s come from Ireland, in her search for her missing cousin, Fiona McDonough, living somewhere in the mountains. Finally, at the request of game and fish patrolman Terry Lowell, Walker takes charge of an 11-year-old boy, the nephew of the poacher Lowell just arrested. Walker, who observes that “[n]othing makes people more interesting than their being dead,” finds plenty of bodies in this often bleak and shocking tale. (Nov.)