Done: Holy Death by Anthony Neil Smith, 2016, 9781943402250.
The latest, and possibly last, Billy Lafitte novel. It's weird how Smith's books get progressively better and better. I have a copy of The Drummer I was going to try and read this week on vacation. I wonder how that earlier novel fares against the recent stuff. (Fares? Fairs? I won't check.)
Readers are better off checking out the earlier Lafitte novels first. First time readers won't be left in the wind on this one but Smith refers back to several earlier events covered in the previous novels that could leave someone wondering.
Anyhoo. Lafitte continues to survive all the violence and mayhem Smith conjures. Last time around Lafitte escaped a prison riot and disappeared into the northern plains in the midst of a blizzard. (Wait, should northern plains be capitalized? I've forgotten and do not want to look that up either.) Holy Death has Lafitte alive and mostly well and driving a delivery truck for a body building supplements company out of Chicago. He is heading south to visit his wife who has been institutionalized for the past several years.
Lafitte is scarred up from his many adventures over the years but is still spotted by some Gulf Coast gang members. (Wait, I did capitalize Gulf Coast.) Those 'gangstas' are the BGM. A former BGM has had a bounty on Lafitte since Lafitte and his police partner murdered the BGM's brother.
Well, Lafitte is followed by BGM teens who think they can take Lafitte. Things end badly for the teens and Lafitte, well known fugitive, is on the run. BGM Guy follows Lafitte and meets a waitress. Waitress and BGM Guy fall in love and start Bonnie and Clyding their way around. The police hear the chatter and the FBI starts looking for Lafitte. Lafitte's old FBI nemesis Rome hears the news and heads south. Lafitte suffers sever chest pains pointing to a heart attack and has to fight his symptoms, escape the BGM, evade the police, and find some nitro or a doctor for his chest.
Sex, car crashes, shootings, beatings, stabbings, fires, kidnappings, more shooting, bad language, assisted suicide, car theft, and general bad behavior ensues.
Written up as a whirlwind couple days along the Gulf Coast. Lafitte causes mayhem and destruction everywhere he goes. Lafitte acknowledges that he is a killer and he sometimes seems concerned about it. But, he's never concerned enough to give himself up, or stop being an A-1 violent asshole. The type of guy who beats one teenager to death and runs another over in a stolen car. The rest of the characters aren't much better and the "good" ones get run over on the way.
Good stuff. An anti-hero with few redeeming qualities and plenty of interesting characters.