129. Muscle For the Wing by Daniel Woodrell

my copy was contained in this current omnibus edition
Muscle For the Wing by Daniel Woodrell
The Bayou Trilogy, #2

Rating: (4/5)

(US) - (Canada) - (Kindle)

Published: 1988
April 28, 2011, Hachette Book Group,  139 pgs  (470 pgs)
Age: 18+

"After ex-con Emil Jadick and his bad boys--a national gang of ex-cons who call themselves The Wing--storm a local St. Bruno poker game, Rene Shade sets out to stop the newcomers dead in their tracks."



Borrowed a copy through Inter-Library Loan.

The second book in this trilogy is so much better than the first that I want to give it a 5 star rating but compared to Woodrell's Ozark books it isn't in the same league so it will have to suffice with a four.  A hardboiled, southern, crime noir set in Louisiana, this is the second time we meet Rene Shade, a tough but honest (in his own way) cop, ex-boxer who deals with the riff-raff, bad cops and mobsters of a backwoods town.  The first in this series was also Woodrell's first book but by this time the author has ironed out his kinks and this is a fine gritty (and literary) crime novel.  Set in the seventies, the book is about crime rather than a mystery as the reader knows more than the detective.  Shade is a complicated character and this book has him in a relationship with a woman plus goes into detail about his relationships with his brothers and the people in town he grew up with.  We get to know Shade's background and upbringing and while he is involved in a hardcore case the real mystery for the reader to contemplate is why Shade became a cop instead of a criminal.  A very fast read that had me immersed.

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