(Editor’s note: This review was penned by author Dietrich Kalteis, who is also Crime Syndicate’s Guest Editor for Issue Two!)
Charles “Reader” Kincaid masterminds a complex and perfect crime by planning to strap a dirty bank president with a remote-controlled bomb. Reader is after the millions of drug dollars he knows are laundered through the bank every week. At least that’s what we’re supposed to think. The only mistake Reader makes is killing ex-cop Grady Fogarty’s brother, who gets in his way up in Ohio when Reader tries to get his hands on a remote-control system for the bomb he plans to build.
As Reader continues to set his plan in motion, the story shifts to New Orleans and takes one surprising twist after another. It turns out Charles “Reader” Kincaid is after much more than just getting his hands on the stolen millions. After he takes off for Louisiana, Grady follows a thin trail of clues, always getting closer and dead set to avenge his dead brother.
Edgerton’s terrific way with dialog springs his quirky characters to life in the colorful setting of New Orleans. And let me tell you, the man knows how to drive the pace. I love the way he strings in backstory without ever slowing the story. Here he builds the Reader character by telling us: “He’d spend hours outside with a sewing needle, a length of thread attached to it and a clear jelly glass full of water. He’d sit on the sidewalk and wait for the ants to come by. One by one, he’d stab the needle through their heads, impaling them, and then drop them into the water, holding on by the thread. Watch their legs wiggle. Sometimes, it took ten minutes for one of them to drown. Sometimes, he’d wait until the instant they quit moving their feet and take them out, let them revive. Then do it all over again. It wasn’t glee he felt, any more than he felt glee at the feel of the man pinioned beneath his knife now.”
When a friend of Edgerton’s first read the story, he said Les had invented the perfect crime, advising him to either commit the crime or publish the book. We can’t be sure how the former might have turned out, but I know you’ll agree, he made the right choice. Bomb is a two-fisted crime story, masterfully told, that offers a great set-up and powerful characters, with enough plot twists to keep any reader guessing and sitting on the edge of their seat right to the very last page. So, do yourself a favor and go out and get your hands on Bomb. (Find Les Edgerton online HERE)
The Deadbeat Club is Dietrich Kalteis’s second novel, released by ECW Press in October, 2015. His third novel, Triggerfish will be released in June, 2016. His debut novel, Ride the Lightning, won the bronze medal in the 2015 Independent Publisher Awards for Canada West Regional Fiction and was hailed as one of the best Vancouver crime novels. More than 40 of his short stories have been published internationally, and his screenplay Between Jobs was a finalist in the Los Angeles Screenplay Festival. Online at http://dietrichkalteis.blogspot.com/.