As some of you may remember, I had some trouble reading some new noirish e-books - they were lacking style, substance and coherence. As I had some holiday left, I decided to try another one, as I didn't yet want to start reading work-related books. I chose The Concrete Maze by Steven Torres, and it proved to be a good choice.
It's a very realistic, almost minimalistic piece, about a 13-year old Puerto Rican girl who goes missing, and his father goes searching for her. The first person narrator is a young guy over 20, the nephew of the girl's father. His narrator's voice is somewhat melancholic in all its no-nonsense curtness. And the melancholy sure fits the novel, since it's full of grief, misery and tragedy. I was hooked by the guy's voice. This could be a vigilante novel in the style of the seventies' Death Wish clones, but even though the young guy and his uncle show courage in the course of the book, they are no heroes and some of their conduct is suspicious as they torture some of the suspects.
All this said, I must say that the book drags somewhat in the middle, when nothing new seems to be happening, and the final revelation in the climax is a bit too much. There was something in there I didn't buy. But still, The Concrete Maze comes highly recommended by me.
Here's Allan Guthrie's interview with Torres.
I read also Elmore Leonard's Get Shorty to finish my holiday reading (and to give him his due), but from now it's only work books for me.