I let myself into her house with the spare key she hid on the top of a tall post at the coxrner of the back porch. I stopped in Lynn’s bedroom, looked at her unmade bed, its sheets twisted together like a coil of snakes, and thought how sad it was that some people never see beyond this world of flesh.
I walked down to Karen’s room. I found Brother Peter’s old clothes still hanging neatly in the closet. I dressed in the black suit he wore when he preached funerals. Then I searched the top of the closet until I found his little silver pistol. I had to rummage round for the clip, but I found it in Karen’s dresser under some shirts. I made sure it was loaded and slipped it in my pocket.
I thought about going to see Jennifer one last time.
observations: Yesterday a real saint (and nun), today the title is more.... ironic.
My good friend Col of Col’s Criminal Library thinks I don’t read enough hard-boiled, noir fiction, and so he sent me this book after reviewing it himself (you can read his verdict here) - he said:
It'll be maybe an hour and a half of your life invested in it, so not too much lost if you don't enjoy it. It's a little bit coarse and a little bit bawdy in places......which we know is more me than you....but I don't think you'll be as apoplectic as your typical Guardian book commentator. Who knows I might turn you to the dark side yet!
So I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but I liked its shortness – it’s a novella really – a huge point in its favour. And in fact I read it in one sitting and was really really impressed: Hinkson is a very good writer, whatever you might think of his subject matter. It’s a dark story, tied up in murder, violence and religion without much in the way of redemption. Someone on the back cover calls it Bible-black noir, which seems like a good description.
The first person narrator is not exactly sympathetic, but Hinkson gets you inside his head, so you can understand (to some extent) the sad things in his life and the disastrous course he undertakes.
It’s published by thecrimefactory.com, and you can download it for a Kindle for £1.86, and it’s worth that much of anyone’s time and money….
The picture, from a haunting collection at the Missouri State Archives, is of a man called Eugene Hamilton, convicted of murder in 1916.
With thanks to Col.