Tuesday, August 11, 2015


She had an ass like a heart turned upside down and torn in half, and that's what you call foreshadowing, friend.

Holy Hell This Book Is Awesome.
STUNNING writing.
That's the first thing that kept running through my head while reading this stellar collection of dark crime stories. The five next thoughts were:
1) Who is Jordan Harper?
2) Where did he come from?
3) Where has he been all my life?
4) What book is he releasing next?
5) Where can I do more damage to my wallet to buy said book?!

Harper's mastery of prose is completely evident all throughout this collection. He is one of those writers that wastes no words, but is always creative with choosing the right ones with awesome efficiency. At times his writing is growling and brutal and other times it's just plain lyrical. Every story here is a beauty of a read.
Here's an excerpt where the author describes a death: 
First there was fear and then there was pain and then there was knowing and then there was nothing.
At times, I found myself reading out loud, so I could appreciate the story's rhythm and the cadence in the writing. If anyone wants to record a random audiobook for this thing I would contribute just out of the pure fun of it!

There are some standout stories though (in no particular order):

"Plan C" and "Your Finest Moment" are hilariously violent bumbling crime tales and they both look at what we all know about best laid plans

"Prove It All Night" is a beautiful little twist on the cliched Bonnie and Clyde tale, with a great ending.

"Beautiful Trash" is a melancholy and romantic story of finding love among all the decadence and manufactured romance of Hollywood. Great characters. If any of these stories was to be fleshed out and extended, I would vote for this one. It could be like Ray Donovan, or a Tinseltown Scandal with balls.

"Playing Dead" is a well-told little tale of survival and vengeance in Brooklyn.

I also really enjoyed the tragic ambition in "Heart Check."

And finally, in what seems to be the crowd favorite, "Lucy In The Pit," is a tender but savage tale of a dogfight medic and handler trying to save a fight dog that just became a legend in the pit.
The fight is a pit dog's highest purpose. We have bred them to not feel fear or pain. We have bred them to have wide jaws and a low center of gravity. A pit dog wants the fight the way a ratter wants the rat, the way a bloodhound wants the scent. A dead-game dog wants it more than it wants life.
And while there are standouts, it's hard to pick those out because every story was enjoyable, with great characters, creative developments, callbacks to other stories in the book, and recurring players. And each tale is about a varying group of individuals around the country living mostly on the fringes, who find themselves at a crossroads in their lives of violence. I can't wait to see what Jordan Harper can do with a full-length novel! As you can tell, I REALLY enjoyed this book (definitely one of my favorites released so far this year, along with Bull Mountain and The Whites), and if you enjoy great stories, you'll love this one too.
Tommy and Nikki had been all fireworks—Roman candles pointed at each other's faces. They had raged. Lived hard, drank hard, fucked hard, fought hard. He needed the fireworks for the heat they gave him. Everything else in his life felt cold.

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