Reviewed by: Keith Nixon
Genre: Crime / Noir / Short Story Anthology
Approximate word count: 35-40,000 words
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Seven authors with too much background to cover here, but you can learn more about the collection and the organization releasing these collections here.
A collection of noir and crime stories.
I’ve previously reviewed another All Due Respect anthology and described it as perhaps the best of its type that I’ve read. And I meant it. Does #2 reach this high water mark? Not quite, unfortunately. Although it is still rather good and well worth a read.
This is also a much shorter book. It seems, from a check on Amazon, to be split across two collections - #1 and #2, not to be confused with the previously referenced collection.
All Due Respect #2 opens with a short set on a deep sea fishing smack, called NFG, written by Owen Laukkanen, a very strong story about privilege and murder. It’s atmospheric and catapults the reader into what must be a very demanding life on a small piece of wood and metal in the wide open sea.
Another strong story is Ice Cold Alibi, by Eric Beetner. An ex-prostitute literally clears up after her husband murders his boss, a butcher, after one too many bitchy comments. Very well written, it’s noir at its best.
Interestingly there is a non-fiction section, comprising an interview with Chris F. Holm, followed by a piece written by him. A little different and unexpected change of tack in proceedings.
However what dragged this collection down to the previous one reviewed was a couple of weaker stories and editing. One short of note is That Time I Worked For The Feds In Mississippi by Joseph Rubas. It’s about a criminal who’s roped in by the FBI to track down some kids who’ve gone missing, probably at the hands of the KKK. It’s a good bit of fun, but just a bit silly for an anthology such as this. The protagonist is able to gun down whoever he likes whilst nonchalantly tracking down the killers.
I also mentioned the editing. I really struggle with repeat words and came across several in clunky sentences. For example:
…and deduced he wasn’t moving it anywhere until he’d cleared a path through the path through the filth. He’d have to clear a path.
Once it looked like the gang was all there, I got my carbine and walked across the street, right in front of an oncoming car.
I read this last quote several times and just couldn’t see the point of the oncoming car element. It wasn’t mentioned again and there was no outcome. It dragged me to a stop as a reader – this happened a couple of time.
That being said All Due Respect #2 did have a lot to live up to. Almost there, this is still well worth a read.
Other than a few clunky sentences, nothing of note.
Rating: **** Four Stars