Tuesday, December 22, 2015

YOU'D BETTER WATCH OUT by Tom Piccirilli

With the holidays rolling around, I was in the mood for a good Christmas tale and I thought it would be a great opportunity to read another Tom Piccirilli book before the year was out! And because it's Tommy Pic, let me tell you, if you're looking for a heartwarming holiday tale of good tidings and cheer, go look somewhere else, because You'd Better Watch Out is definitely not for you. It's a brooding, hard-hitting Brooklyn "noirella" about an unnamed man who, as a child, witnessed his corrupt, abusive cop father brutally murder his mother. He grows up a foster child, learns violence at an early age, and becomes muscle for a prominent New York crime outfit, waiting patiently for the moment when his no-good Pops gets out of prison.

It's a simple tale, but as usual in the hands of Piccirilli, it stands out for it's storytelling economy, dead-eye prose, no-holds-barred depiction of violence, and how quickly and intuitively he can find the beauty and emotion in such dark and nihilistic material. This is my fourth novella so far by Piccirilli and he's really mastered that length and structure. I can't wait to jump into his longer work and see what he can do when he has more pages to impress me with!


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