Friday, January 04, 2008


Bill Crider's running a review of Tom Piccirilli's forthcoming Bantam novel The Cold Spot. I like it as much as he does.

In broadstroke it's sort of a Dickensian hardboiled crime novel. Chase's family is gone early on and he's raised by his crooked grandfather. Like all upwardly mobile kids who think their grandads are cool guys, Chase becomes a getaway driver. But soon enough he takes to the straight life, the world of stickups and guns taking its toll. He marries, becomes a teacher (he teaches auto mechanics, a nice wry touch for a former getaway driver), and things are looking good until he gets dragged back into his former life, meeting up again with his diffident, complex grandfather.

I said this was Dickensian because it has the feel of the way Dickens used family relationships strained by a violent world (as London was and is in some parts).

For all the violence and hardboiled attitude, The Cold Spot has great heart. Is also has a breakneck plot and a number of fascinating relatoinships. The ending anticipates a sequel. I can't wait to read it.

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