Crosshairs of the Devil by Yancey Williams
|Crosshairs of the Devil by Yancey Williams by Yancey Williams|
|Category: Literary Fiction|
|Reviewer: Jill Murphy|
|Summary: Anarchic, wild novel about an ageing crime writer living out his final days - or are they? - in a nursing home. It's a wonderfully energetic read and you'll struggle to know whether you're coming or going for most of it!|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 190||Date: August 2021|
|External links: Author's website|
Award-winning crime writer Eddie Jablonski is getting on in years and, despite his strenuous objections and thanks to his daughter, finds himself living - or imprisoned, from Eddie's point of view - in room 315 of the Garden of Eden nursing home, with only a trusty nursing aide, Jenkins, for palatable company. Nothing is going to keep Eddie from his stock-in-trade of writing though, so here, for his readers, are his wanderings through his life's work.
If you can keep up with the speed and spattering of his output, what you'll find are excerpts from Eddie's fiction, some autobiographical passages, encounters with a bemused police officer, arguments with the home's supervisor, and an array of gruesome testimonies from the victims of a prolific mob hitman, Richard 'The Iceman' Kuklinski. who Eddie claims as a first cousin. Which are fact and which are fiction is left to you, the reader, to decide. As are which are moments of lucidity from Eddie and which are the meanderings of a mind playing a dance with the addlement of old age. My favourite tale was a long excerpt from and experience the Vietnam War, which somehow managed to be both horrific and endearing.
Oh, I loved, loved, loved, reading this novel. It's wild and anarchic, rushing backward and forward so that you rarely know whether you're coming or going. Eddie, living out his final days - or is he?! - in the Garden of Eden nursing home, is an ebullient but recalcitrant character. He causes trouble wherever he goes and delights in it. His partner-in-crime come nursing aide Jenkins is a loyal presence in the background and I found myself wondering what on earth he really thought of his charge. I like to think that he had as much regard for Eddie as it turns out Eddie has for him.
Not a book for the fainthearted, Crosshairs of the Devil is violent, crude at times, and most definitely grisly and gruesome. But it's also wonderfully charismatic and utterly compelling. What story will Eddie tell next? Is it true? Was the assassin Richard Kulinski really Eddie's cousin? Did he even exist? Will Chief Friday at the police station ever act on Eddie's confessions? The last chapter - and all its subchapters - is wonderful. I was just settling into Eddie's reflections and preparing for the inevitable when all my expectations were turned on their heads... again. I would love to tell you more but no spoilers here. Read it for yourself!
If you're looking for something new and different, Crosshairs of the Devil is the one for you.
You can read more about Yancey Williams here.
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You can read more book reviews or buy Crosshairs of the Devil by Yancey Williams at Amazon.com.
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