Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Fever Kill

Tom Piccirilli
The Fever Kill

Crossroad Press e-book, 2010

Crease, an undercover cop, so got used to a role that even his boss, drug lord Tucco, considers him his right hand and perhaps the best friend, returns to his hometown. Crease knocked up Tucco’s girlfriend, almost left his family with several adopted children, and now runs from its own present to a dark past. Crease’s father, a local sheriff, ten years earlier participated in the liberation of kidnapped a little girl but the girl was killed and a ransom was never found. Sheriff then drinks himself to death, and Crease, not endured humiliation from the townspeople, runs away to New York and becomes a cop, like his father. Returning to his hometown, Crease investigates kidnapping of that little girl, meets old friends and waits for arrival of Tucco thirsting for revenge.

Piccirilli is especially good at characters such as Crease. They are broken down, riven between past and present, they do not really know what they want from life, but not because they did not see life, but because they saw too much. Crease also can not really explain his visit to his hometown: «It wasn't to make amends to the old man. He could never do that and wouldn't bother trying. But he'd come back here for some reason and he figured this might be a part of it, and anyway, he had a day or two until Tucco showed up». Crease, without knowing why, begins to question relatives, neighbors of the killed girl, and let the mystery part there is not so sophisticated, «The Fever Kill» is an excellent mestery among other things.

«The Fever Kill» is also modern Western. Knowing the ability of Tucco’s using of knife, Crease also readies cold arms, realizing that the fight with the boss can not be avoided. Returning to his hometown is the last chance to atone for his sins (and the sins of the father) and, if you are lucky to stay alive, to decide where to go.

This short Piccirilli’s novel is a real pleasure.

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