Friday, August 10, 2012
ALMOST GONE by Stan Richards
It sorta grieves me that Stan Richard's ALMOST GONE went under almost everyone's radar when it came out. As one of the earliest releases from New Pulp Press, along with Nate Flexer's THE DISASSEMBLED MAN and Pete Risley's RABID CHILD, it helped set a standard for that publisher for raw, bold writing that pulls no punches.
The story: after a car accident, police officer Chuck sustains some brain damage and is suddenly flooded with strange memories of his mother's death, memories that he had suppressed until then. The memories seem to indicate that HE was directly responsible for her death, and even worse, hints that his relationship with her was... unnatural, to say the least. Chuck becomes more and more obsessed with learning the truth, and as he inches ever closer to a horrible truth, his delicate mind grows more and more unhinged.
It's flat-out psycho-noir. And Richards tells this depraved tale with an admirable economy of language. Every sentence is sharp and clear. He uses redundant phrases and words to great effect.
If you aren't afraid of a book that makes you feel a little dirty and uneasy, while building tension beautifully, ALMOST GONE is a great choice.