Monday, February 22, 2010

No New Hard Case Crime Month #2: Baby Shark

Feb 2010: No New Hard Case Crime Month #2: Baby Shark by Robert Fate.
Texas, yes, Texas, the early 50s-- a teen girl is riding shotgun with her dad, a pool hall warrior. Moving from town to town, game to game in the wild, wide open days of the post WWII boom. She's getting an education for sure, only things go wrong, people are killed and this girl, wounded in body and spirit is left to pick up the pieces of her life and take care of business.

Here is the copy from Mr. Fate's website

October 1952, Henry Chin's Poolroom

A father murdered. A daughter sexually assaulted, beaten, and left for dead. A pool hall set ablaze.And so begins Baby Shark, a story of recovery and revenge.

As a rule, in the 1950s, a good girl didn't admit to being raped-and she'd never seek revenge for her father's murder.

But Kristin didn't play by the rules.

Baby Shark has everything a good Hard Case has, sparse language, hard boiled action, a wrong in need of being set right and creatures of darkness in need o exposure. It's got the narrative drive and the zing of classic crime pulp. The setting and people ring true-- and Fate has assembled a crew that is worth revisiting and in danger of becoming like Joe R Lansdales Hap and Lenarod Books, you read them to visit with the charcters. Only Fate's plot and set up works and has it's own magic. I also like the fact that he has taken what is essentially a late 70s Rape Revenge set up and instead of up date it to the late 2000s had taken it back to the 50s.

It's good stuff, and if it makes it to the big screen in the next couple of years Adrianne Palicki from Friday Night Lights has to play the lead.

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