The story begins when logger Slip Wilson walks off the job after seeing one of his coworkers die in a gruesome accident. He has two grand in a tin and he’s planning on going back east and settling down. Unfortunately for him, he happens upon Ellie Hobbes, a pretty blonde communist with a union organizer’s corpse in the trunk of her car. One death leads to another, and soon Slip, Ellie, and Ellie’s young niece Annabelle are forced to flee Seattle in a dory while they are pursued by private security thugs, union members and the police.I used to like Shamus Award-winner Straley’s Younger stories, though I haven’t read them in a long while. Too bad the author has had to go to a small publisher like Alaska Northwest Books to get this one into print, but at least it gives us all a chance to rediscover his work.
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
This one sneaked up on me. Seven years after Alaskan author John Straley published his last detective Cecil Younger novel, Cold Water Burning, he’s suddenly back in bookstores with a historical standalone, The Big Both Ways (Alaska Northwest Books). Of the plot, Independent Crime’s Nathan Cain writes: