Book Review

Fresh Kills (2008)

Details Release Date: Aug 21, 2008; Writer: Bill Loehfelm; Genres: Fiction, Mystery and Thriller; Publisher: Putnam

When his violent, hard-drinking bastard of a father is murdered —riddled with bullets, execution-style — ''angry young man'' John Sanders Jr. goes looking for the perp — maybe to kill him, maybe to thank him in Fresh Kills. But his fruitless search through the bleak streets of Staten Island turns up more angst than leads. Junior spends much of his time in sloshed rumination over family dysfunction and the beatings his dad meted out, or bickering with the exasperated women in his life. Loehfelm's dead-end, blue-collar setting, its atmospherics thickened by the titular landfill, abounds in gritty detail. But his kitchen-sink melodramatics — '''Don't make me choose between how much I love you and how much I hate him''' — aren't very fresh. B-

Originally posted Aug 15, 2008 Published in issue #1007-1008 Aug 22, 2008 Order article reprints