Thursday, September 1, 2011

THE CHAOS WE KNOW by Keith Rawson

When I reviewed the first release from Snubnose Press, the six-story anthology Speedloader, I said it was a truly dark and gritty collection, even for noir.

Keith Rawson's collection follows right where Speedloader left off. These stories are plain nasty. And I don't just mean brutal or grim, I mean literally nasty -- almost every story has an abundance of piss, shit, vomit, snot, blood and sweat.

From front to back, Rawson's collection is a stunning, detailed portrait of drug addicts, crooked cops and sexual deviants -- a wide-ranging tour of the vast underbelly of the American Southwest. He gets deep into the minds of his characters and unearths their disturbing lives in vivid prose.

"The Blood, the Shattered Glass and All the Rest" stands out as a prime example of Rawson's powers. A cop is trying to kick his drinking habit at his wife's insistence, but the pressures mounting on him are simply too much for himto handle. When the title returns to smack you, the reader, over the head, the result is horrifying and believable.

The Chaos We Know is the kind of collection that every fan of the dark side of crime fiction will devour. $2.99 at Amazon.

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