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The Rage (World Noir) Paperback – February 5, 2013
"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover,"" illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Pre-order today
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Just released from jail a thief is planning for an armored car robbery An honest policeman discouraged by his crooked colleagues is investigating the murder of a banker A call from an old acquaintance will change his course of investigation Vincent Naylor just released from jail resumes doing what he does best planning for an armored car robbery Bob Tidey an honest policeman discouraged by his colleagues making deals with criminals and about to commit perjury is investigating the murder of a crooked banker A call from an old acquaintance will change his course of investigation Maura Coady a retired nun living on regrets and bad memories sees something that she can t ignore and decides to tell someone She makes a phone call that sets in motion a violent fate
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My favorite part of the book was the heist plotline, which is packed with fascinating details (like GPS chips in shirt-collars). However, after it goes somewhat south, it all gets a bit messy in a somewhat predictable way. Similarly, the investigation into the murdered property developer leads to some very connected people who have the power to shut the investigation down once a semi-plausible culprit has been identified. D.S. Tidey faces the classic dilemma of disobeying his orders or walking away to fight crime another day. The social justice aspect of the book (crooked developers, and even the nun has a dark backstory) probably strays a touch over the line into being heavy-handed, but it's a well-crafted and well-told book stocked with fully-realized characters. Definitely worth reading if you like crime with a procedural bent, or have a particular interest in Ireland.
"The Rage" is set in Dublin, Ireland in the midst of the "Great Recession". The real estate bubble has popped and savings have been decimated. The resulting economic and the inevitable social turmoil scalded the 99%, especially the lower echelons. The source of the financial ruin was laptop computers perched on expensive desks located in penthouse office suites of unrepentant and unpunished financial "Masters of the Universe". These entitled, cynical, rapacious and overwhelmingly arrogant capitalists manipulated and profited even from the destruction they've wrought. Crime is a reasonable and logical alternative for some and an irresistible opportunity for those already in the business. This theme echoes throughout the book.
By quoting famous and richly evocative lines written by the great Raymond Chander on the cover page ("The streets were dark with something more than night"), Kerrigan seems to be setting up for a stylish "noir" novel, one redolent with memorable and quotable similes (such as, Chandler again, "He had a heart as big as one of Mae West's hips"). Continuing the inevitable comparison, one expects (but doesn't entirely get) a detective-protagonist swimming in moral turpitude but who is himself beacon of morality; hard hitting prose; sharp characterization with brilliantly and convincingly plotted stories; sun-drenched Los Angeles or rain-soaked streets where the "dark is something more than night". Not that Kerrigan is incapable; take this as an example. It encapsulates the unvarnished prose angle of early pulp procedurals and brilliantly ends with a pungently Chandleresque flourish:
" ' Justin Kennedy's the victim's name, according to the apartment manager.'
Tidey raised an eyebrow, 'He identified that?'
For once, the claim that someone blew someone's head off wasn't an exaggeration. Most of the victim's head was splattered up the wall above the rest of the body. 'It's his car; Kennedy's car; that he's sitting beside - the manager says that's how he usually dresses. A property guy, puts deals together, well known in the business - his name popped up as an associate of Emmet Sweetman. He shared an apartment upstairs with his girlfriend.' The body was dressed in an expensive light grey business suit, the look somewhat spoiled by the volume of blood that covered the shoulders."
"The Rage" could be called "noir" in that it features a hard-boiled, hard-drinking detective, one who's both cynical and a knight errant. He's violent and doesn't hesitate to bend means to attain the end; but it's an ethical ending after all. It's closer in form to a police procedural and is most reminiscent of lawyer-author George V. Higgens' book, "The Friends of Eddie Coyle". It has a tidier ending but it gets the job done.