Thursday, February 08, 2018

Spalding's Groove - Richard Prosch

I already knew that Richard Prosch is a fine Western writer. Turns out he’s pretty darned good with contemporary crime fiction, too. SPALDING’S GROOVE is a collection of two short stories and the intro to a series that continues in a later novel. The title story finds ex-cop Dan Spalding running a vintage record store that he inherited from his late brother. It’s located in Ozark Lake, a town with a big tourist industry that seems to be based on Branson, Missouri. The former child star of a popular TV show from the Eighties brings in several boxes of old records to sell, and that’s the start of a yarn that involves gangs, Russians, tragedy, and a dangerous shootout. Dan Spalding is an excellent character, just hardboiled enough, with his cop instincts still intact, to know when trouble’s about to strike. I’m looking forward to reading his next adventure.

The second story, “Cinderella Makes Good”, is a non-series tale set in Nebraska during the Eighties that’s a fine example of semi-rural noir involving street racing, a fatal crash, and vengeance. Prosch’s style is really evocative in this one. I grew up in Texas in the Sixties, rather than Nebraska in the Eighties, but some things are universal. Both of these stories are well worth reading, and if you’re a fan of top-notch crime fiction, I recommend you do so.


Charles Gramlich said...

Definitely good stuff

Richard Moore said...

I like everything I've read by Richard Prosch including his juvenile series featuring Jo Harper, which my grandson also loved. So I ordered both the books in this crime series and look forward to reading them.

James Reasoner said...

That Jo Harper series is great.