Still River

Cheers to Dallasite Harry Hunsicker for giving us Hank (né Lee Henry) Oswald, a most welcome and worthy heir to the legacy of wisecracking private eyes like Robert Parker’s Spenser and Robert Crais’s Elvis Cole. It’s unfortunate (but entertaining) that Oswald spends much of Still River (Thomas Dunne/St. Martin’s Minotaur) bleeding, bruised, unconscious, in a jam, or on the lam. Hunsicker’s detective noir debut could stand more inventive plotting—the Trinity Vista development has Big D’s real estate moguls playing rough to lock up a multimillion-dollar contract—but he hits pay dirt with Oswald, whose droll blow-by-blow (“I turned the tap on and filled Mr. Coffee with Mr. Water”) and everyman persona make him a most entertaining chap to tag along with for a day or two.

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