A novel set in the underbelly of upstate New York that's as hardboiled and punchy as a swift right hook to the jaw, a classic noir for fans of James Ellroy and John D. Macdonald.
Isaiah Coleridge is a mob enforcer in Alaska--he's tough, seen a lot, and dished out more. But when he forcibly ends the money-making scheme of a made man, he gets in the kind of trouble that can lead to a bullet behind the ear.
Saved by the grace of his boss and exiled to upstate New York, Isaiah begins a new life, a quiet life without gunshots or explosions. Except a teenage girl disappears, and Isaiah isn't one to let that slip by. And delving into the underworld to track this missing girl will get him exactly the kind of notice he was warned to avoid.
At turns brutally shocking and darkly funny, heartbreaking and cautiously hopeful, Blood Standard is both a high-tension crime novel and the story of a man's second chance--the parts of his past he will never escape, and the parts that will shape his future.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Laird Barron is a three-time winner of horror's prestigious Shirley Jackson Award, but it turns out he's brilliant at hard-boiled crime thrillers too. Isaiah Coleridge had it good as an enforcer in the Alaskan mob—until he made life difficult for a rival gang and had to resettle in upstate New York. Blood Standard blends fish-out-of-water humor with a plot as tight—and deadpan violent—as vintage Jim Thompson or Richard Stark tales. Even more importantly, Coleridge is a wry, witty narrator we instinctively root for even as we learn he was very, very good at his old job.