MUSCLE FOR THE WING by Daniel Woodrell


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Second in the bayou series featuring Cajun cop Rene Shade and the cantankerous town of St. Bruno--where all the action's under the protection of longtime boss Auguste Beaurain, including the mayor's weekly poker game and the game just under way at The Rio, Rio Club, a strip joint. Ronnie Bouvier, however, is out to turn tables on theold man, who got him sent up to the Braxton Federal Penitentiary for cheating on him; with the help of""The Wing,"" three cons just out of Braxton, and his lush, trampy, young wife, Wanda Bone Bouvier, he starts hitting Auguste's setups. When a cop is killed during one foray, Shade and his partner How are ready to go hunting--when How is pulled off the case and Shade's assigned to it with Shuggie Zeck, an old school chum who went bad (and wealthy). Wanda auditions for The Rio, Rio Club; cases the layout; and then The Wing hits it. Wanda being Wanda is easy to identify; Shade and Shuggie zero in. Meanwhile, Shuggie's drunken wife Hedda takes a beating from Shuggie for letting slip to her kin Wanda that The Rio, Rio was Auguste's newest enterprise--which made it their prime target. A few fists later, Hedda calls Wanda and suckers the boys out where Shuggie and crooked cop Mouton can ambush them. Result: carnage--with Wanda running to the church, and Shade arriving in the nick for a standoff with Shuggie, who's blown away by Mouton, thinking he's acting on Auguste's orders. Faulknerian relationships, ripe dialogue and a dark, dim view of human nature make this one zing; as mean and dirty as they come.

Pub Date: Oct. 17th, 1988
Publisher: Henry Holt