Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Fourth Victim (Healy & Serpe) by Tony Spinosa

With this novel Reed Farrel Coleman shows us why he received a Shamus Award for the work under his own name. The Fourth Victim is the second novel under his pseudonym Tony Spinosa.
Healy and Serpe, the ex-cops who now own an oil business investigate the death of another ex-cop in the same business. What seems to be a simple string of robbery-related killings turns out to be something a lot more complicated.
What makes this such a wonderful novel is the sheer hardboiledness of it all. From the writing itself to the attitude of the main characters there’s a very blue collar, white-knuckled feel about it. Also, where most crime writers seem to need 400+ pages to tell their story Tony / Reed manages to give us a full-fleshed narrative with twists and turns, action and good characterization in little more than 200 pages.

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