Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Short Ride To Nowhere

Tom Piccirilli
Short Ride To Nowhere

Crossroad Press, 2010

When Jenks finally goes on the trail of his friend Hale, he was already dead - killed himself in a madhouse. Jinks and Hale were neighbors before their lifes were almost simultaneously crashed. Both were on the street, without a wife, children, home, work and money. Both earned a living that way they could afford. But Hale was suddenly found rugged with the blood all over him with the murdered girl. The police have no clues who and how could commit a crime. Detectives even suspect that the girl could have been killed by Hale. Police had no time to interrogate him: the man kills himself. When Jenks met with the police, he understands that he should not wait for some sort of investigation: lifes such as his and Hal’se are not worth anything, they will die and no one will notice. Jenks himself begins to find out what happened to his neighbor. The chain of questions leads Jenks to a homeless shelter.

Despite the fact that this novella (noirella, if we use the definition of the author) in length is only 60+ pages, you have the impression that you have read the novel, so fleshy Piccirilli prose is. «Short Ride To Nowhere» is a dark, very male thing. Human life can cost a few dollars, and the American dream turns to sand within several minutes. The voice of Jenks is often the voice of Piccirilli himself: people are mired in sins, basking in the luxury and spitting on other people's problems. Human qualities are no longer valued, survive as best as you can. Jenks for entire novel is on the verge of anger and despair, for themselves and the world, he almost kills those who did not harm him.

From the viewpoint of the mystery is all very well plotted. Piccirilli really gave a reader a short ride to nowhere. This trip is not a pleasant one, but I'd still ride.

(This is digital-only novella, never published in print form.)

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