Thursday, 7 July 2016

Happy Hour And Other Philadelphia Cruelties by Tony Knighton

Happy Hour And Other Philadelphia Cruelties by Tony Knighton
Published by Crime Wave Press on the 6th June 2015.

Where to buy this book:
Buy from independent booksellers via Abebooks
Buy the ebook from
Buy the paperback from The Book Depository

How I got this book:
Received a review copy from the publisher

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

'A young grifter steals an overcoat. As he discovers forty-thousand dollars in its inside pocket, the coat’s owners come after him. The action never stops as his pursuers seem to be both ahead and behind him at all times, killing and destroying everything in their wake to catch up with their money and the young thief. Happy Hour is as breathless as writing can be. Knighton’s debut novella is accompanied by a selection of short stories that can run with the best of American Noir literature. It’s cold out there, folks.'

I first discovered Tony Knighton's short stories through receiving one as a Crime Wave Press newsletter sign-up gift. I reviewed As Long As You Can in May and have now had the chance to read and review the whole collection from which it was taken. The book consists of the title novella, Happy Hour, and a further eleven short stories. Happy Hour is excellent. The chase through a snow-covered Philadelphia is vividly described, exciting and atmospheric, and I was never quite sure how the story would turn out. Knighton is good at unexpected conclusions.

Of the short stories, I was pleased to revisit As Long As You Can and also particularly enjoyed the frightening dystopian vision of Sunrise and the satisfying circle of African-set poaching tale, The Scavengers. Hit And Run is short, but surprisingly powerful. Knighton is a thirty-year veteran in the Philadelphia Fire Department and uses his vocational experiences to provide thrilling detail for stories such as Falling and Opportunities. He also enables the city of Philadelphia to almost become a character in its own right in many of the stories. It's dark presence adds a great sense of menace to a cast of already dangerous characters and really brings out the realism in this short story collection. I am not sure I feel encouraged to visit Philadelphia though!

Search Lit Flits for more:
Books by Tony Knighton / Short stories / Books from America

1 comment:

  1. Happy Hour is on an Amazon Kindle Countdown offer! Just 99c / 99p until Wednesday this week - grab your copy now!