Book tip: Blood Standard, Larid Barron

Book tip

Blood Standard

Laird Barron

In the history of Easter eggs — or, for that matter, crime novels — few have ever been as hard-boiled as this insanely good effort by Barron. A multiple-award-winning writer in the fields of fantasy and horror, Baird immediately joins the ranks of luminaries like James Ellroy, Ross MacDonald and Elmore Leonard. Isaiah Coleridge, a mob enforcer in Alaska, is sent to the Hudson River Valley after spontaneously beating his boss to prevent the illegal slaughter of walruses. Lucky to have not been killed, he settles into a quiet new life on a working horse farm. But when a teenage girl goes missing, Isaiah contradicts the stipulations of his exile to dig through the local criminal underworld to find her. Vicious, darkly witty and beautifully plotted, with wonderful characters, "Blood Standard" will land on numerous year-end Best Of lists — and deservedly so. And here's hoping this is only the first in a series.

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