By October 27, 2011 0 Comments Read More →

Crimes In Southern Indiana

I am sure our colleagues in Southern Indiana will rise to the defense but the new collection of connected short stories by Frank Bill with the name Crimes In Southern Indiana is not going to be used to attract tourists or new residents to that area.

Each story in this collection is brilliantly presented.  They are peopled with troubled individuals who make all the wrong choices in pure noir fashion.  What happens to them is unavoidably bad and difficult to read at times.  All of this is happening to them in a rural area brutalized by abandonment and poverty. 

Why this is happening to them is the key for readability and discussion purposes. Frank Bill can explain the most obnoxious character’s action and while that does not justify what they do it does create enough fodder to make me want to discuss them with someone else. 

It is not hard to recommend this book to book discussion groups as long as it is the right group.  The power of these stories lie in the brutal creation of the characters and the consistency in the projection of the landscape within which they live.  But even more, it is Frank Bill’s use of language that won me over.  It is as if he has his own lexicon to paint with. 

I know I am one who hopes he continues to write so someday down the way I can recommend another work of his for a book discussion group with less hesitation.

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About the Author:

Gary Niebuhr is the author of Make Mine a Mystery (2003), Caught up in Crime (2009), and other readers' guides to mystery and detective fiction. He was a Booklist contributor from 2008-2014.

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