James Reasoner’s Dust Devils (Pointblank, 2007) is a hardboiled gem. A Texas set tale of a heist gone wrong, this short novel is the equal of anything written by masters like Westlake and Leonard.
Reasoner, who has devoted much of his time to historical fiction in recent years, shows he has not lost his touch with crime stories. His prose is stripped to the bone, but still evocative. His dialogue is entirely believable. The plot moves at a breakneck pace, and Reasoner follows Chandler’s advice: Every time it seems like the story might drag, a man with a gun walks into the room. There are also some twists that will send readers reeling. To say anything else would spoil the fun.
Dust Devils is one of the best novels of the year.