Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Nine Toes in the Grave / Eric Beetner

Reviewed by: Sam Waite

Genre: Noir

Approximate word count: 20-25,000 words

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Eric Beetner is the author or co-author of several novels as well as contributing short fiction to many magazines and anthologies. He was voted “Most Criminally Underrated Author” by the Stalker Awards.


A man who’s skated the narrow edge of morality all his life gets a shove into the abyss. At first he struggles against it, but in the end finds comfort in the dark corners of his soul.


Warning: Don’t start reading Nine Toes in the Grave unless you have enough time to finish it before your next appointment. Otherwise you might miss it. The writing style is dead on and pace as quick as the bite of a cornered rat.

A decent man making do with hourly wages in a desert pit stop takes up with the boss’s wife and finds adultery leads to far more grievous sins. Even as he seeks truth to extricate himself from descent into a hell created by people he trusted, the outcome is inescapable.

I thoroughly enjoyed the read, but the story line is a bit over the top, almost a tongue-in-cheek play on the genre with too many coincidences happening too quickly. Also the ending is lighter than expected: Jim Thompson meets Roger the Rabbit.

Still it’s highly recommended for a quick trip into a world where a twist of fate might have sent any of us.


Some adult language.

Format/Typo Issues:


Rating: **** Four Stars

1 comment:

Marlene Detierro said...

A stripped-down, old-school blast of noir. The story starts with one bad decision and just barrels on to a dark but satisfying conclusion. I read this in one sitting.

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