The Hunger of Crows

Richard Chiappone. Crooked Lane, $27.99 (304p) ISBN 978-1-64385-700-8
Short story writer Chiappone (Water of an Undetermined Depth) hits the ground running with his assured first novel, a thriller. Carla Merino, a Phoenix waitress, enjoys one-night stands. One evening, toward the end of her shift, Cosmo D’Angelo walks in. They flirt, and she agrees to go home with him. After sex, she surreptitiously steals a photo of Cosmo from his nightstand drawer as a memento. Closer examination of the photo shows, alongside a much younger Cosmo, a man in military uniform, and Gordon McKint, “military contractor and billionaire asshole of the highest order, now running for president.” A reporter friend Carla consults tells her the photo could ruin McKint’s bid for president, because it shows McKint with a Colombian army colonel who stole millions in American foreign aid money, and McKint once testified to Congress he’d never met the man. According to the reporter, Cosmo is an operative in the Phoenix office of Sidewinder Security, McKint’s company. Realizing she’s in danger, Carla winds up hiding in Homer, Alaska, where her pursuers track her down. The complex, well-developed Carla winds up facing avenging killers and the unpredictable Alaskan weather amid loads of heart-stopping action. Only a limp, ambiguous ending disappoints. Readers will want to see more from this talented author. Agent: Rachel Ekstrom, Folio Literary. (Nov.)
Reviewed on : 09/02/2021
Release date: 11/09/2021
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
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