THE FEVER KILL by Tom Piccirilli

THE FEVER KILL

KIRKUS REVIEW

Celebrated horror novelist Piccirilli (A Choir of Ill Children, 2003, etc.) turns his baleful eye to more traditional corruption in a rural noir mingling homegrown revenge schemes with mob warfare.

An undercover narc named Crease is dragging a trainload of baggage, psychic and corporeal, as he heads home to Hangtree, Vt. He’s haunted by Mary Burke, a little girl long thought to have been killed by Crease’s drunken father during a botched kidnapping, and burdened with an icy wife, a surly son and half a dozen adopted children foisted on him by his wife’s family. In his years away from home, he’s gone native under the thumb of a sadistic capo named Tucco, making him an even more dangerous opponent. The chink in his armor is that he’s already been outed as a good guy. Piccirilli walks a nice tightrope between portraying the iconographic characteristics of his hardboiled hero and unraveling the broken machinery of a fatalistic guy thrown one curveball too many. Crease is determined to quash his father’s deathbed confession, even if it means going up against a bullying town sheriff, a devious high-school sweetheart turned gun moll and his knife-wielding master, maybe all at once.

The gritty narration, graphic violence and pulp gravitas should make fans of Jim Thompson and Charlie Huston feel right at home.

Pub Date: Dec. 11th, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-9769217-4-5
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Creeping Hemlock
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 2007




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