cover image A Certain Retribution: A Merrick McKnight Novel Introducing Reggie Summers

A Certain Retribution: A Merrick McKnight Novel Introducing Reggie Summers

Michael Lister. Pulpwood (www.pulpwoodpress.com), $16.99 trade paper (234p) ISBN

In this lame sequel to 2010’s Thunder Beach, North Florida investigative reporter Merrick McKnight returns to the small town where he grew up, Wewathitchka, to replace the corrupt local police chief. McKnight, who has somehow ended up “pretty damned happy” after losing his wife and young son in a car accident, hooks up with beautiful Reggie Summers, another Wewa native, who can’t believe that McKnight would be interested in a “broke-ass, white trash, single mom, college dropout” like herself. In a metafictional twist, Lister walks into a cafe, prompting one of his characters to praise his new book. Goopy sex scenes jar with the grim and gritty story line involving cops shot with their own guns, and the windup doesn’t redeem what’s come before. For Lister on his game with sophisticated plotting and memorable lean prose, check out his John Jordan series (Rivers to Blood, etc.). Agent: Amy Moore-Benson, AMB Literary Management. (Nov.)