When in the mystery bookstore looking for a new writer to discover or simply a good read, it is easy to get overwhelmed by the quantity of crime novels available. When in doubt, I always go for a Hard Case Crime paperback. If you like your whodunit pulp fiction hard boiled style, this series features a great variety of writers including Lawrence Block and Donald E Westlake and the price is absolutely right. My latest discovery is Losers Live Longer by Russell Atwood.
Losers Live Longer stars down on his luck and out of stuff to sell on EBay private eye Payton Sherwood. Mentor and legendary P.I. George Owl Rowell calls him out of the blue and asks for his help on a case. Rowell is killed just before Payton can buzz him into his office building. This sets Russell Atwood’s detective on a complicated mystery involving a runaway Ponzi scheme artist, three beautiful women, his ex boss, a sk8ter, missing millions, a blackmail scheme involving child porn, and a whole bunch of other stuff.
This is a somewhat complex plot with a high body count set in NYC’s East Village. This is a place Atwood is particularly adroit at making you see and smell. Private eye Payton Sherwood, a fast talker with a high opinion of his sense of humor, is an original and very interesting character. All this makes for a mystery novel that is easy to get into that makes you more than willing to turn the pages though most turn themselves.
Hard Case Crime is a solid collection, as our other reviews show. Losers Live Longer by Russell Atwood is a very good addition to this series.
I have a bit of a quibble with an unsolved element of the book that has to do with Sherwood’s lovely neighbor but not the crime itself. Here’s looking forward to the next Russell Atwood mystery.