This book proves both the pros and the cons of “electronic only” book releases. It proves that there are fantastic books being released straight to the electronic format that are as good as anything being traditionally published by anyone. It also proves that some books are getting short shrift, at least to those of us who love the printed page, by being released only electronically. This is a book I wish I could have on MY shelf, so I could go back to it again and again. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know that is possible (sort of) with an e-book, and I know one can mark pages to look up later, etc. But I like my dog-eared pages, I like being able to look at something I don’t need to keep charged. So I want a printed copy of this book. Sue me.
As for the stories themselves, Patti does an outstanding job of writing scenes of crime and mayhem without being gratuitous about it; not every character is a murderous drug user with no redeeming qualities. Most have heart, even as they are doing terrible things. Patti stays away from the tendency of many to attempt to out gross us out as readers when it comes to relating the tales of the downtrodden. For me, this book was an excellent palate cleanser proving that that uber-violent tendency is not what crime writing needs to be about to work.
Great stuff from Patti; definitely one of my favorite collections of the year. Can’t wait to be able to throw something of hers on my shelf, where it belongs.