cover image The Big Goodbye

The Big Goodbye

Michael Lister. Pulpwood (www.pulpwoodpress.com), $26.99 (254p) ISBN 978-1-88814

Lister (The Body and the Blood) kicks off a promising private detective series set in 1940s Florida with a tantalizing opening line%E2%80%94"I had not yet recovered from shooting Stanley Somerset when I saw her"%E2%80%94and rapidly establishes the intriguing persona of narrator Jimmy Riley. Riley, who lost an arm while on the police force, now works as a PI partnered with a former Pinkerton agent. Obsessed with ex-lover Lauren Lewis, he's taken aback when she re-enters his life. Lewis, whose husband is running for mayor of Panama City, appears at his office to ask whether Riley is the person who's been tailing her. While she believes his denial, she declines his offer to help. Unsurprisingly, Riley decides to look into the matter anyway, and soon finds himself squarely in the crosshairs of the police when bodies start piling up. Lister's hard-edged prose ranks with the best of contemporary noir fiction. (Sept.)