Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Blogging the Black Lizard Anthology of Crime Fiction: Tough by John Lutz

John Lutz is one of the few authors in The Black Lizard Anthology of Crime Fiction, of whom I had never heard. Turns out he's quite prolific, and if his story "Tough" is any indication, he's also pretty damn good. I think this is my favorite story in this collection thus far. It's about three casino robbers who hole up in an old hippie commune that's inhabited by a reclusive Korean War vet. There's the standard conflict, with the old man fighting the gangsters to protect his turf, but Lutz pulls the carpet out from under the reader in a spectacular fashion. I'd go into more detail about this one because it's worth looking at for the story as well as the technique, but that would ruin the fun for those of you who haven't read it yet. Well played Mr. Lutz. Well played.

(You can download "Tough" from for about 7 bucks, which is kind of steep for a short-story, but it's a good story.)

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