Johnson (Everything Under the Moon) launches the first of a noir trilogy with this highly original caper novel. Darby Holland is the proprietor of the Lucky Supreme, a tattoo parlor in the Old Town neighborhood of Portland, Ore., where he and his artists, a gang of societal misfits, have created their own niche within this gentrifying community. Johnson, a veteran tattoo artist, captures the conflict between the two cultures perfectly without any false sentiment. A phone call from a friend alerts Darby that Jason Bling, a former employee who quit without notice some months ago, has surfaced in Santa Cruz, Calif. Bling has stolen valuable original “flash” (tattoo designs) by pioneer designer Roland Norton. Darby goes to Santa Cruz, where he confronts Bling and figures out that Bling’s new boss, Nicholas Dong-ju, who owns a minimall in San Francisco, may have the stolen flash. Darby ends up in a war with a wealthy collector who follows him back to Old Town. The inventive, unorthodox Darby effectively marshals his forces against thugs, officials, and even federal agents in this amusing crime tale. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 02/13/2017 Release date: 04/11/2017 Genre: Fiction
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