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 Killing 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.