Wednesday, August 1, 2007

King of Swords (Max Mingus) by Nick Stone

Nick Stone returns after his impressive debut with Mr. Clarinet. This time we are treated to a prequel of his first novel in which we learn how Max Mingus quit the force and met his wife. Also, we meet Solomon Boukman who has an important part to play in Mr. Clarinet as well.
The storyline is pretty challenging, weaving a web of different stories and characters in one coherent crime thriller. Basically it's about the battle Mingus and minor characters wage against Solomon Boukman and his allies. Where the first novel reminded me of James Lee Burke and Andrew Vachss this time I was reminded of George Pelecanos.
Max is as tough an anti-hero as he is in Mr. Clarinet and a very enjoyable character once again. The most interesting, original character in the novel however is the pimp called Carmine. He's a very believable, strangely criminal I really felt sorry for during the course of the novel.
Well written, original, haunting and interesting. You don't want to miss this one.

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