When a young black man is lynched in a small Alabama town, his estranged father — a crime world enforcer — sets out for revenge, embarking on a blood - soaked journey that will leave the ravaged bodies of dead Klansmen in his wake.
"Rausch unleashes a flurry of gut-punches both painful and thrilling, his prose brimming with righteous anger and stark, no-bullshit wit. This racially charged and crackling tale reads like a startling mash-up of Jim Thompson and Iceberg Slim, making Bloody Sheets that rare achievement: hardboiled and hard-hitting, but transcendently heartfelt as well." - Wesley Strick, screenwriter of Cape Fear.
“Andy Rausch’s prose is passion filled rage incarnate. ‘Bloody Sheets’ is a must read revenge tale, drenched in catharsis and blood. The dialogue is lively and energetic, full of just the right balance of humor and hate. It shows the timeless tragedy of racial injustice in America that’s been present for centuries and it does something about it. ‘Bloody Sheets’ tackles America’s racial divide with the same composure and intensity of recent works like ‘Get Out.’” - Billy Chizmar, author of Widow's Point.
"Bloody Sheets by Andy Rausch is a violent and powerful crime drama choc-full of great characters and crackling dialogue." – Paul D. Brazill, author of A Case of Noir.
Brutal, violent, intense, funny, and not just a little bit sad. A Mississippi Burning on steroids, only our truth seeker and harbinger of justice on this occasion is our lynching victim's father and he's no angel himself.
Putrid, ugly racism in all its forms and exagerrated here to the nth degree is at the heart of this short, powerful novella. Rausch shows his contempt for this form of discrimination by mocking the unenlightened and visiting on them seven kinds of hell in the form of Coke and his best friend sidekick.
Love, loss, regret, mistakes, small town ugliness, a young couple in love testing the boundaries of what will be allowed to stand, hate, vitriol, a lynching, death, bereavement, police corruption, discrimination, the KKK in action, a deputy's loose wife - the town bike, and lots more besides - in particular Vengeance with a capital V.
Story - tick, characters - tick, setting - tick, pace - tick, outcome - no happy ending, but a justice of sorts - tick, length - tick.
Very, very good. Very, very full on. Very much an in your face read, but not without moments of genuine humour that cracked me up. My kind of book.
I bought a copy of this a year or two ago in paperback, but had the chance to listen to it on Audible. The narration added another layer of enjoyment to what would have been a fantastic outing in any format.
5 from 5
I've enjoyed Andy Rausch's work before - Ridng Shotgun and Other American Cruelties. I look forward to more from him again.
Read - (listened to) February, 2021
Published - 2019
Page count - 99 (3 hrs 17 mins)
Source - Audible review copy from Henry Roi ( a purchased paperback sits on the TBR pile)
Format - Audible