“Burke shows again that he’s not just a comic genius, but also a fine dramatic writer and storyteller.” – Booklist. “Prose both scabrous and poetic.” – Publishers Weekly. “Proust meets Chandler over a pint of Guinness.” – Spectator. “Among the most memorable books of the year, of any genre.” – Sunday Times. “A hardboiled delight.” – Guardian. “Imagine Donald Westlake and Richard Stark collaborating on a screwball noir.” – Kirkus Reviews. “A cross between Raymond Chandler and Flann O’Brien.” – John Banville.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Bend Over, We’ll Drive*

“Is this the way Jayne Mansfield died?” Nathan Cain over at Independent Crime brings us the first glimpse of the latest Ken Bruen and Jason Starr outing for Hard Case Crime, with the news that THE MAX is slated for a September 2008 release. Says Nathan: “Just check out the cover. You know the book is going to kick ass.” Hmm, yes, it would appear that Angela is in for a bumpy ride. Although no bumpier than the ride Max is due, according to the extract from Hard Case. To wit:
“Gonna have yer sweet white ass later.”
  The greeting Max Fisher got from his towering black cell mate, Rufus.
  Max thought, Whoa, hold the phones, there’s gotta be some mistake. Was he in the right place? Where was the V.I.P. treatment? Where was Martha Fucking Stewart? Where were those bastards from Enron? How come there wasn't a goddamn tennis court in sight? Yeah, Max knew Attica wasn’t Club Fed, but he didn’t expect this. He thought a big-time player like himself would get the, you know, special treatment but, Jesus, not this kind of special treatment. He thought he’d work on his backhand, get some stock tips, learn how to crochet, maybe start working out, lose some of the extra forty pounds he’d been lugging around. Maybe the guard took him to the wrong part of the prison. Didn’t prisons have neighborhoods just like cities? Max was supposed to be on the Upper East Side, but by accident they'd brought him to the goddamn South Bronx.
  Max clutched the bars, said to the guard, a young black guy, “Hey, come back here, yo.” Yeah, Max spoke hip-hop, one of his many talents. The guard didn’t stop and Max shouted, “Hey, asshole, I think there's been a little fucking screw-up around here!” Yeah, let the fuck know who was boss, like the time he was dining at Le Cirque and the maitre d’ sat him at a table with a dirty tablecloth. Max let that motherfucker have it all right.
  The guard, walking away, laughed, said, “Naw, I think there’s gonna be a big screw up, Fisher. Inside yo’ ass.” …

Copyright © 2008 by Ken Bruen and Jason Starr.
The question, of course, is why Max Fisher might want to smuggle carpentry accessories into prison. Is he planning to build a bedside locker? Put up a book shelf? Only time, that notoriously doity rat fink, will tell …

* With apologies to The Cramps

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