Killing Time in Vegas
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I never finished the last two books I started. The first I quit after reading the first chapter, and the second about halfway through chapter one. It’s rare I quit a book, often gritting my teeth through the mush all the way to the end.
So what a relief that Tony Black’s┬áKilling Time in Vegas pulled me into its world and dragged me through America’s grimy underworld, unsettling your mind with its characters’ desperation and suspicions. It’s not a big collection, but every story hits its target, from the teenage girl who gains revenge on the high school jock, to the ex-cop who let an unsolved case reduce him to becoming an attendant at a 7-Eleven. Though the author’s Scottish, it all reads authentically American, words pinging across the page, dialogue rolling and unstilted.
I was a little wary of reading it. The only other Tony Black story I’d ever read was the novella Lock & Load, which I thought bland.
Not this. It grabs you by the undercarriage and squeezes hard. Great stuff.