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Shifty’s Boys by Chris Offutt

Offutt has fashioned a mystery plot that’s fast-paced, efficiently plotted, atmospheric, and compelling, but what again distinguishes the book is the author’s command of and affection for the setting and the people who live there. Come for the thriller, by all means; it delivers nicely. But stay for, and linger in, the marvelous incidentals and atmospherics: arguments about mall names; lore about snakes and birds and mushrooms; descriptions of a local shade-tree tinkerer’s Slinky-like version of a perpetual motion machine … Terrific characters; taut suspense. Another winner from Offutt. Read more

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