Finished: Psychosomatic by Anthony Neil Smith, 2005, 0809550903.
I bought this - full price - at Murder and Mayhem. This book would have been much more enjoyable if I were able to read it without being constantly interrupted. Instead I spent time telling my children to leave me alone so I could finish the dang book.
A very good novel (when not constantly interrupted). Multiple characters: Alan, Lydia, Terry, Lancaster, Megan, Norm in small time crime in Southern Mississippi. Murder gets involved and the dimwits all mix together and make things even worse.
Alan is a fat bastard on the underworld's fringes. Lydia is a manipulative quadruple amputee and would-be crime lord. Terry and Lancaster steal stalled cars on the side of the interstate. Terry is more of a con man and Lancaster is a tightly wound nutjob. Megan is a druggie who falls for Lancaster. Norm is a redneck idiot who is bound to lose by the end.
Mix, add many obstacles, most people get killed off.
1. Smart enough to get into trouble but too stupid to get out.
2. Reminders of Elmore Leonard with Southern dipshits and a minor Michigan connection.
3. The action keeps rolling along and is surprising.
4. Back cover blurb by the great Charlie Stella.
5. I'll eventually read Smith's next novel, The Drummer. If I get my copy.
6. Only about 180 pages but Smith packed a lot of goodness, crime, and dysfunctionality into this.
EDIT 2 (29Nov10):
7. Good first lines get a lot of attention. The opening paragraph in this is great.
8. Am I the only one who sees two faces in the cover illustation?
9. Audi love.
10. Amputee love.
11. Slovenly fat guy love.
12. Recurring Smith motif of goth/alternative-thin-chicks-with-wacky-hair love.