Description: When a city councilman is gunned down, Rene Shade refuses to write off his death as a burglary-homicide as he is ordered to do. Now, Shade's quest for the truth leads him on a chilling chase through a treacherous swamp of leeches and cottonmouths--while dodging his own unresolved past.
Opening: Jewel Cobb had long been a legendary killer in his midnight reveries and now he'd come to the big town to prove that his upright version knew the same techniques and was just as cold. He sat on the lumpy green couch tapping his feet in time with a guitar he scratched at with sullen incompetence.
Looking at Woodrell's text is like looking at those visual picture puzzles. You have to look through the oddly cobbled together phrases to catch the story, and it is a kind of wonderment when it works on a personal level. The real knack is deciphering the conversations, staccatoed brevity is my take on most of the grunting intercourse, yet it all works.
This is a sad, sick tale of assassination, pornography, politics, and kids who just don't know any better.
Coal bins lined the tracks, providing a haven for those rambling men who couldn't spare the buck for a flop and refused to perjure themselves on the God issue for the payoff bowl of soup and green-blanketed bunk. Urban Darwinism was at work in the grim light of this place, and the mean got over with their no-limit rage, while the weak went under, silently."
Got to love that Urban Darwinism.