A blog dedicated to reviewing crime novels published by independent presses everywhere.
Saturday, May 29, 2010
Review of Late Rain
It's safe to lump Lynn Kostoff in with Pinckney Benedict and Madison Smartt Bell, which is to say he is a very talented writer who no one will read because they are too busy telling all their friends on Facebook how funny last night's episode of the hit sitcom "Two Bikini Models and an Adorable Puppy" was. This state of affairs does not fill my heart with hope.
Mere months after New Pulp Press resurrected Kostoff's -blink and you missed it- thriller A Choice of Nightmares, he is back with a new novel, Late Rain(Tyrus Books, 2010). The new novel is set in the low country of South Carolina, and centers around the events set in motion by the avaricious Corrine Tedros, when she conspires to have her father-in-law murdered so as to get her hands on his soft drink fortune and leave behind her sordid past forever.
When the murder is witnessed by a man in the advanced stages of Alzheimer's, former homicide detective and current beat cop Ben Decovic, who has, like Tedros, moved to the deep south to try and escape his past. It goes without saying that two characters running away from things they can't escape will eventually run right into each other with tragic results.
Late Rain is very different in tone that Nightmares, which was a truly disorienting novel that throbbed with decadence and menace on every page. Rain is more restrained, and more straightforward, in that there are good and bad characters, and its much easier to get comfortable with since you know who you're pulling for early on. It's much more accessible in that respect, but Kostoff still refuses to tie up the story with a nice comforting bow at the end, turning what could have been a by the numbers crime story with a warm fuzzy ending into something better. Yes, the murder gets solved, but the truly evil characters still run free, and there is no real justice, just the rough approximation of justice which we are all forced to settle for in real life all too often, and the good guy gets only the consolation prize of knowing that he did what he could. Not exactly life affirming, but then, very little in life is.
Welcome to the Indie Crime Blog. As the name implies, this blog is dedicated to reviews of crime fiction published by independent presses. There are many books published every year that seem to be ignored for a variety of reasons. The books sections of newspapers are getting smaller. Bookstores give more shelf space to more established authors. I could go on, but you get it.My intent is to review books both old and new in the hopes that some deserving writers and worthy publishers will gain some exposure. I can be emailed at IndieCrime-at-gmail-dot-com