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Yellow Medicine (Billy Lafitte Book 1) by [Smith, Anthony Neil]
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Yellow Medicine (Billy Lafitte Book 1) Kindle Edition

3.9 out of 5 stars 100 customer reviews

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Length: 260 pages Word Wise: Enabled

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Deputy Billy Lafitte's ethically-flexible approach to law enforcement has led to his dismissal from the force in Gulfport, Miss., and the break-up of his marriage in this well-written if grim contemporary noir from Smith (The Drummer). Through the intercession of his brother-in-law, Lafitte has found a new job in remote Yellow Medicine County, Minn., but his continuing corrupt ways land him in all sorts of trouble, with a trail of bodies following in his wake. His involvement with some meth dealers leads him to cross paths with some Malaysian terrorists, who are plotting to strike at America's heartland. The terrorists frame Lafitte for some gruesome murders, using the knife he'd gotten from his father to decapitate some of their victims. Smith deserves credit for taking a risk by creating a character like Lafitte, whose private code of honor-if any-is far more obscure than an antihero like Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Have you ever wondered what would happen if a wiseacre southern deputy with vigilante overtones got himself transferred, thanks to Hurricane Katrina, to the frozen wastes of the Minnesota prairie? Probably not, but Smith, himself a Gulf Coast migrant to the northern flatlands, is determined to find out in this series debut that stars Deputy Billy Lafitte, a troubled transplant with a plethora of personal problems. His ex-wife and two kids, whom he professes to love devoutly, are sequestered by his in-laws Down South, leaving him no choice but to dally with a singer named Drew, who is unhappily but madly infatuated with a boyfriend of her own. That boyfriend ends up not only murdered but decapitated, and the last person with whom he can be placed is the deputy himself. Intent to clear himself, Deputy Billy is soon tangling with a drug mob and—not again!—terrorists (in Minnesota!). All in all, though, Smith has a powerful voice and delivers quite a romp, offering along the way a sort of Tony Hillerman glimpse into a part of the country that is not often the subject of crime fiction. --Steve Glassman

Product Details

  • File Size: 517 KB
  • Print Length: 260 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publication Date: April 25, 2011
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004XWQ0DC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #432,032 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
As a life-long resident of southwest Minnesota, where Yellow Medicine is largely set, the first thing I looked at was the details of the setting. An author gets them wrong, and his credibility suffers. But Smith gets them right, sometimes hauntingly right, not just in the physical feel of the area but in people's attitudes and actions as he lifts the lid off what is, in truth, an often calm rural area to show us another truth: This drug use and a sometimes-nasty underside to people's behavior.

Then, of course, the rest of the novel explodes into well-crafted action and violence that is not gratuitous but is a natural extension of the sort of behavior by the sort of characters that populate the book. The central character is a flawed, relocated detective trying to make sense of his new life, post-Katrina, post-old-mistakes, in the cold and sometimes impersonal plains of southwest Minnesota. The heart of the book comes in Smith's ability to put us inside the mind of his detective so we can see his skills as a cop unfold as he breaks the case, but also be there as failures as a person keep bringing destruction to him and those around him, sometimes with extreme consequences. He's trying to learn, be better, but he sure has a hell of a hard time doing so ... and Smith conveys this so well that, as a reader, you want to take LaFitte for a walk and cuss him out every way you can: Not everyone gets a fresh start, even if they don't exactly want it. But when you get one, make the best of it.

In the end, there is redemption and one of the hallmarks of enduring, powerful literature: Change, growth, self-realization of the main character. The novel has tough language, some hyper-violence and, yes, takes southwest Minnesota's drug sub-culture to an extreme level.
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Format: Kindle Edition
A dirty cop runs afoul of terrorists in Minnesota.

That's the easy line. The hook. But the book is so much more. If you've read Anthony Neil Smith before, you have a good idea what you're getting into. If you haven't, you're in for a treat.

Billy Lafitte is the dirty cop. Tough, mean, trying to get by. As he gets mixed up with these terrorists, things go from bad to worse. The novel is visceral, propelling you along, forcing you to keep going to find out what happens next. It's funny, it's brutal, and overall it's a heck of a story.

Pick this one up, you won't regret it. A great, dark, gritty, hardboiled thriller. Worth every penny.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Yellow Medicine starts with one of the most memorable and engaging anti-heroes in recent memory. Mix in bent cops, a psychobilly band with a cute female bass player, terrorists in the heartland, and plenty of guns and explosives lighting up the cold dark Minnesota landscape. Tell it all in Anthony Neil Smith's lean, mean prose. You're going to love this.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Billy Lafitte is a detestable person and needs a large ax through the brain. That said, the book chugs along and should easily satisfy all the blood and gore video game crowd. Happy to be reviewer #99 for the lovely Mr. Smith. Rock on, dude.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I can't believe it took me this many years to read Anthony Neil Smith. I'd of course heard about him often, usually in a sentence that went something like, "Dude! You've to read this guy!"

Well... "Dude" didn't read him when he should have.

But, I have now and now I'm on a mission to sing his praises to everyone who will listen. Listen up: "Dude! You have got to read this guy!"

I'm on my third of Smith's novels since I discovered him less than a week ago. The first of his novels I read--or, better "experienced"--experienced is a much more accurate verb to describe what it means to open the pages of a Smith novel. The first was YELLOW MEDICINE, after which I immediately glommed onto THE DRUMMER and am now halfway through HOGDOGGIN'. All breathtaking.

YELLOW MEDICINE out-bleaks "Fargo." This is pure, black noir of the highest order. The protagonist, Billy Lafitte has to be one of the most memorable characters in fiction. He brought me back to my own outlaw and prison days--this guy is the same guy I ran with on the bricks and celled with. The same guy who was with me in South Bend that night when we outran the cops in my T-Bird and the same guy I took the road trip to Lake Charles with. Which reminds me--the cops in this novel aren't the cops I usually encounter in fiction--I'm from New Orleans and the cops in the Big Easy aren't like the cops usually seen in most novels or movies--they're the cops we find in YELLOW MEDICINE. Like the kids say: "True that."

Smith just plain delivers the goods in an original, American voice. All I can say is, "Dude! You gotta read this guy!"d
Les Edgerton, ex-con and author of Hooked, Monday's Meal and others, including the forthcoming THE RAPIST, THE BITCH, and JUST LIKE THAT.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
After getting caught up in the after effects of Hurricane Katrina, and the crime wave which followed,, a deputy is forced to move from New Orleans to make a new life for himself, with the aid of his former brother in law, the sheriff of the town. While appearing to be completely above board, the deputy has not learned from his Katrina mistakes, and is soon involved in some of his old ways of gaining extra money, and favors. His reputation, as well as his former New Orleans partner serve to make a combination which makes him appear to be capable of things which he is not. As friends and loved ones are threatened and murdered he must do his best to prove his innocence, and prevent additional murders and mayhem to affect his town, reputation, and loved ones. Good book for a quick read. Perhaps the protagonist is a little too sleazy for the reader to form an identification with the character, but an interesting story nonetheless.
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