This slim first novel is a hard-boiled egg on a slice of wry—a lip-smacking snack for crime gluttons like myself. If you’re hungry for a fresh voice working the demeaned streets of L.A. (think a U-turn on Sepulveda), p.g. sturges satisfies the yearning, and leaves one looking ahead to the next meal.
Shortcut Man (Scribner) tastes like an hors d’oeuvre at a 4-star noir & grill—after only a few bites I found myself rooting for Dick Henry’s next appearance in hardcover.
Dick is the “shortcut man”…the go-to guy when you need rough justice without delays. No small talk, he cuts to the chase: “Take out your cashbox, fuckstick, and be quick about it.”
He tools around in a ‘69 Caddy and packs a punch line, e.g., when he pulls up at client’s fancy soiree and a bored valet says “Deliveries in the rear”:
I grabbed him by the tie, pulled him close. “Then bend over, darling.” After a quiet, intimate moment, we achieved a new level of understanding.
With dark humor, quirky characters, riffs on love, and dialogue worthy of Elmo on a roll, p.g. sturges stakes out new territory in familiar terrain.
Shortcut Man is one hell of a debut.