cover image Atlanta Noir

Atlanta Noir

Edited by Tayari Jones. Akashic, $15.95 trade paper (280p) ISBN 978-1-61775-537-8

In the introduction to the Atlanta volume in Akashic’s groundbreaking noir series, Jones admits that several of the 14 entries “are not, by any stretch, crime fiction.” Still, these stories, most of them by relative unknowns, offer plenty of human interest. David James Poissant’s “Comet” effectively uses Stone Mountain as the setting for a boy and his father’s climb to see Halley’s Comet. In Brandon Masey’s “The Prisoner,” a parolee finds staying clean comes at a very heavy price. The plight of the homeless and the shortcomings of shelters are poignantly explored in Anthony Grooms’s “Selah.” In Jennifer Harlow’s unsettling “The Bubble,” two rich, bored high school girls plan a thrill murder that will bind them forever. A mentally disturbed neighbor’s actions become more and more troublesome for an out-of-work school teacher in Sheri Joseph’s edgy “Kill Joy.” Oddly, while all the tales have a Southern feel, none evokes Atlanta’s past, such as the Civil War period. (Aug.)