Monday, May 03, 2010

Book: Cemetery Road, by Gar Anthony Haywood (2010)

Los Angeles, 1979. Three young men torch $140,000 that they stole and go their separate ways. Decades later, one of them is murdered in an apparent drug deal gone bad. Another, now a political force, isn’t inclined to ask questions about the death. But Errol ‘Handy’ White is. Of the three, Handy ran the farthest but forgot the least. He thinks the misdeeds of the past are wreaking havoc in the present. And he won’t rest until he’s put paid to his sins and those of friends living and dead.

Haywood weaves together the tale of the young Handy, quick to offense and brimming with plans, with that of the weary contemporary one. The resulting voice is spare yet freighted with regret and hard-won wisdom. (“Right about the time he hits his middle forties, a man starts giving thought to dying well.”) Handy’s a memorable character, a tinkerer with a mission “to save imperfect but salvageable objects from a premature, and therefore wasteful, death.” Cemetery Road is a short, powerful crime novel in which the worst crimes take their time revealing themselves.

I’ve added Haywood’s blog to the roll. It’s well worth reading.