Friday, November 10, 2006

Book: A Dangerous Man, by Charlie Huston (2006)

Earlier this year, I raved about Caught Stealing and Six Bad Things, a pair of novels by Charlie Huston. Now he’s brought the Henry Thompson saga to a kick-ass close in A Dangerous Man.

Hank was once a regular enough guy, albeit one packing a few too many regrets. Agreeing to do a friend a favor plunges him into a brutal underworld where he’s shocked to find he’s right at home. At the start of A Dangerous Man, he’s a hit man forever indentured to a Russian mobster. When the boss sends him back to New York, where his nightmare began, Hank stumbles onto what may be a way out. But it’ll take a lot more killing to get there.

Hank’s voice remains Huston’s greatest accomplishment, raw and recognizably human no matter how hardened the character becomes. Dangerous has its share of the fluid action scenes that Huston writes so well. He’s even brought the Mets back for an encore.

Each book recounts a stage in Hank’s hellish journey: the downward spiral, the bottoming out, the final shot at redemption. Together, they make for one lethal ride. Make sure to read ‘em in sequence for the full effect. Trust me. Once you start, you’ll tear through all three in no time.

Miscellaneous: Link

Sid Davis was the king of the “social hygiene” film, with classics like The Bottle and the Throttle and Live and Learn to his credit. This New York Times obit does justice to a fine career.