Monday 22 January 2018
WILLIAM E. WALLACE - HANGMAN'S DOZEN (2016)
William E. Wallace is serving up bare-knuckle stories in old-school style. Superstitious criminals down on their luck, junkies with trigger fingers, mysterious drifters—these are the kind of characters you’ll meet in this collection of lurid tales.
“(Wallace) is a master at building scenes, characters, layering dialogue and description, and filling in back-story with no interruption to the momentum of the story.” Greg Barth, author of Selena and Diesel Therapy
“The best of William E. Wallace’s work revolves around the concept of justice. . . I’m talking the big, broader cosmic sense. Judgment. Reckoning. Down in the filth and garbage of the street, it’s all street justice.” Joe Clifford, author of Lamentation and December Boys
“It is not easy to combine humor, characterization, and persuasive action but here it's done well. These stories will make you a Wallace fan." Patti Abbott, author of Concrete Angel
“Wallace is quite simply a brilliant writer.” Will Viharo author of Love Stories Are Too Violent for Me
Another new-to-me author and one who sadly passed last year - William E. Wallace.
There's a short piece on him and an extract of his work over at All Due Respect here.
Hangman's Dozen comprises thirteen short stories from Wallace and was an enjoyable introduction to his work.
Superstitious..... three hapless criminals seem jinxed
459...... a junkie with a jones
Bird Hunter.... drugs, a death, consequences
Blackout.... the perils of drink-driving
The Bust-out..... an insurance job, goes wrong
Hide-Out Case..... witness protection ain't all its cracked up to be
Incident on Car 412......a short con on the BART
Max B...... a prison break-out
Recovery Man...... a recovery agent gets lucky
Stand by Your Man.... a love triangle ends badly
The Custodian......robbery, a court case and non-judicial consequences of ripping off the Russian mob
Double Iron Cross....... a loafer onto a good thing, some white supremacists and some funny money
Ladies’ Man....... a psychopathic pervert gets the girl
I really enjoyed the collection and whilst a lot of the story endings weren't especially unexpected or deviously twisted, there wasn't one that bored me. Action and characters are well described and the stories each had an unambiguous resolution. Plenty of grifters, junkies and hapless thieves on offer, most operating at the lower levels of criminality and none too successfully at that. Crime very often doesn't pay.
Bird Hunter, Max B and Double Iron Cross were my favourites.
I'm looking forward to trying some of Wallace's longer work in the future.
Wallace's I Wait to Die and Dead Heat with the Reaper sit on the pile; the titles either poignant or somewhat ironic.
4.5 from 5
Read in January, 2018
Published - 2016
Page count - 155
Source - Kindle Unlimited
Format - Kindle