Investigating a deer-poaching incident that lands him in deep trouble—with a broken ankle and multiple bullet wounds—wildlife conservation officer Matt Rider finds himself at odds with members of the renegade Pittman family, including clan leader Soldier Pittman.
When a large sum of Pittman’s drug money comes up missing, Soldier Pittman is convinced Rider stole it. Rider’s instincts are to call on his trusted brother Randy and his friend Dean Blackwell to help him out, but none of them imagine the lengths to which Soldier Pittman will go to get his drug money back.
Praise for RIDGERUNNER:
“Rusty Barnes has done it again. Ridgerunner is a well-oiled, perfectly crafted shotgun of a novel, one that delivers just as much heart as it does gunpowder. No one else working today can showcase so much humanity in such dark places. It’s a genuine thrill to see what Barnes can do with twenty-six letters and a handful of characters.” —Sheldon Lee Compton, author of The Same Terrible Storm and Brown Bottle
“With Ridgerunner, Rusty Barnes has earned a place at the table with hardscrabble-noir poets like Woodrell, Wolven, and—yes—Thompson. This short novel packs a wicked punch that will leave you shaken and wanting more. Drop whatever you’re doing and get your hands on it.” —Patrick Shawn Bagley, author of Bitter Water Blues
“Rusty Barnes has something special here—the narrative equivalent of a fist to the gut, followed up with a well-placed kick in the teeth. You’re going to want to get yourself a snack to go with Ridgerunner, because once you start reading this book you’ll forget to eat. It’s a non-stop thrill ride from page one as Barnes blends mayhem and heart in equal doses, giving the reader a tour into the souls of men and their vices, exposing the lengths they’ll go to protect what’s theirs.” —CS DeWildt, author of Love You to a Pulp
“A guttural and unrelenting survey of a people and place that is not lawless, but, rather, governed solely by its own backcountry creed. Ridgerunner blurs the boundaries between lawmen and outlaws. Barnes has delivered the stuff of fine fiction.” —David Joy, author of Where All Light Tends to Go
“Barnes starts his story with a fast boil and wrenches up the gas on every page, never relenting until the lid pops off and scalds the hell out of you. Ridgerunner is brutal, satisfying, and left me looking forward to his next book.” —Samuel W. Gailey, author of Deep Winter
“Jim Burke says he works the pages till, when you pick them up, they crackle in your hand. That’s Rusty Barnes’ Ridgerunner. From the first line it crackles: it’s alive, moving about, and won’t be still.” —James Sallis
Three months after a shootout with the renegade Pittman family robbed him of his brother, Matt Rider is trying to put his life back together. His wounds are many, his sworn enemy Soldier Pittman may wake up and begin to tell what he knows, his wife is on the knife edge of sanity, and his teen daughter has gone missing with the son of his sworn enemy.
In a whirlwind series of killings, thefts and rash decisions, Rider ends up muling drugs across the Canadian border for the Pittman family in order to save his daughter and wife from an even worse fate, even as he betrays them. Rider must choose between what is best for his conscience and what his sometimes murderous instincts tell him: kill them all.
Crimes in Southern Indiana is the most blistering, vivid, flat-out fearless debut to plow into American literature in recent years. Frank Bill delivers what is both a wake-up call and a gut punch. Welcome to heartland America circa right about now, when the union jobs and family farms that kept the white on the picket fences have given way to meth labs, backwoods gunrunners, and bare-knuckle brawling.
Bill's people are pressed to the brink—and beyond. There is Scoot McCutchen, whose beloved wife falls terminally ill, leaving him with nothing to live for—which doesn't quite explain why he brutally murders her and her doctor and flees, or why, after years of running, he decides to turn himself in. In the title story, a man who has devolved from breeding hounds for hunting to training them for dog-fighting crosses paths with a Salvadoran gangbanger tasked with taking over the rural drug trade, but who mostly wants to grow old in peace. As Crimes in Sourthern Indiana unfolds, we witness the unspeakable, yet are compelled to find sympathy for the depraved.
Bill's southern Indiana is haunted with the deep, authentic sense of place that recalls the best of Southern fiction, but the interconnected stories bristle with the urban energy of a Chuck Palahniuk or a latter-day Nelson Algren and rush with the slam-bang plotting of pulp-noir crime writing à la Jim Thompson. Bill's prose is gritty yet literary, shocking, and impossible to put down. A dark evocation of the survivalist spirit of the working class, this is a brilliant debut by an important new voice.
A curated collection of photography from European and American artists, interview with award winning Fabien Nury on noir comics thriller "Black Rock", and some of the best voices in mystery and suspense are among the other highlights.
The issue features:
Stories by Walter Mosley, Brendan DuBois, Jill D. Block, Brodie Lowe, Rusty Barnes, Erica Wright, J.B. Stevens, Matt Phillips, Tom Larsen, and Jack Smiles.
Revisit of the classic essay "The Passing of the Detective".
Interviews and Reviews by Dan Fesperman, Fabien Nury, and Jerry Holt.
Photography by Michael Hemy, Marta Bevacqua, Tom Butler and more...
This issue also features a preview of new Tyler Cross noir comics and a deep dive into the recent work of Scandinavian legend Gunnar Staalesen.
An elegantly crafted quarterly issue, our Summer 2018 issue will make a perfect companion or gift for avid mystery readers and fans of literary crime fiction.