Thursday, April 15, 2010

Pic of the Litter

If you read my piece about Tom Piccirilli and his wife Michelle a few days ago, you know I ponied up for a box of Pic goodness. WHAM! A UPS brownshirt dropped that sucker on my porch Wednesday morning, and I ended up with three aces to draw to: Hellboy: Emerald Hell, Shadow Season (an upgrade from my homegrown ARC), and The Fever Kill.

That last one drew me like a magnet. I snatched it up, because the retro beat-up-back-pocket paperback cover design by the folks at Creeping Hemlock Press was irresistible to a guy like me. And what did I find inside? Well, check out this opening:

"Crease had spent seven years carting his father home from barrooms and whorehouses, picking him out of the alleys and gutters and carrying him on his back through the frigid streets of Hangtree. The old ladies who woke before dawn would tsk loudly on their porches or smile with all the small cruelty they felt they deserved to pass back to the world. Edwards and the deputies would pace their cruisers alongside and follow mile after mile while Crease struggled beneath his father's weight. The cops would keep their dome lights on so he could see their eyes, the way they grinned. Crease didn't know who he wanted to kill more, them or his father or himself."

Uh-huh. Now that's the way you start a crime novel. That's the sound of the opening bell, looking up from your stool and seeing a guy with Sonny Liston eyes waiting across the ring. In other words, you haven't been hit yet, but you sure as hell know you're going to be.

And not just a little bit...a lot.