Sunday, August 24, 2014

Review: THE BROOKLYN RULES by Reed Farrel Coleman

The Brooklyn RulesFrom the back of the book:
Reed Farrel Coleman’s The Brooklyn Rules collects 6 hard to find short stories originally published in 2006 and 2007. Killing O’Malley, Requiem for Jack, Requiem for Moe, Pearls, King Fixer and Bathead Speed are included as well as a new introduction from Reed.

My Review:
I love the writing in this short story collection. As evidenced by lines like "some men are just bitter borne" from Killing O'Malley and "life is burden enough without the added weight of imagined sorrows" from Requiem For Moe.

THE BROOKLYN RULES by Reed Farrel Coleman, while not introducing long time readers of Coleman's work to anything new, does provide some nice Easter eggs for fans - notably, a couple of cameos by Bruen's penultimate ad-hoc PI, Jack Taylor in Requiem For Moe and Requiem For Jack.

The six short stories that comprise this collection act as an introduction to Reed's writing, providing bite size chunks of noir/hardboild while also serving as a taste of what to expect in his longer forms of fiction featuring his most renowned character in Moe Prager.  

"Hey, at least she's alive, right?"

My favourite is Pearl, which tells the story of an escort who watched her father rape her sister, only for the sister to then commit suicide. Following this (years later), the escort is shot by the partner of one of her clients. It's noir from begining to end and left me with a craving for more.

"I was the king fixter, the sultan of solutions...I knew I had been dethroned."

Another favourite of my mine was King Fixer; A jaded mistress, a cheater with a way out, an unavoidable murder. Double cross condensed in a bite size chunk of noir. It's a great short story that reads longer.

"No sound like it, breaking a man's shins"

The other standout is Bathead Speed, in which a hitman gets hit by the daughter of one of his former targets. It serves as the perfect way to conclude the collection while providing depth to Coleman's cast of characters outside of the Moe Prager series.

THE BROOKLYN RULES, despite it's length (most readers will get through it in well under an hour) is well worth checking out. Of the six stories, I was only familiar with one (Requiem For Moe) from the DAMN NEAR DEAD collection and enjoyed reading more of Moe and the other stories in this noir enriched collection.    

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