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***** Five Stars

With Galveston Nic Pizzolatto has authored a crime noir novel that spills over into pure southern gothic. Pizzolatto, the creator of the HBO crime series True Detective, abandons the visual script for the literary. The results are impressive.

Roy Cady the protagonist, a true anti-hero, harkens back to the days of Raymond Chandler. The novel drips with so many shadows that it’s not hard to imagine the tale in simple black and white. But this story is anything but simple.

The violence is convincing as is the first person narrative of a desperate, dying man.

The writing style is both lush and tough, filled with lyrical descriptions that alert the senses. This story is alive and as hungry as an alligator.

In a time when all our entertainment is either deliberately twisted or cheesy, Galveston lays bare the human tale of a man on the run from third rate gangsters, accompanied by a young hooker and her small daughter. Roy is under the presumption that he is terminal, which tempers his paranoia into a sublime search for peace.

Original. No pretensions. Fantastic first novel.

Read more by Matt Minor