Tag: Wiley Reiver

  • Worse Than Black and White

    An Analysis of Racism and Double-Consciousness in Dorothy B. Hughes’ The Expendable Man By Wiley Reiver N.B.: This essay inaugurates an occasional series at Reckon Review in which we dive deeply into crime or noir works of note. One of the least useful, or even interesting, debates in contemporary literary criticism concerns whether a fiction […]

  • Love in the Blood-Stained Blue Dot

    A Review of Bobby Mathews, Magic City Blues By Wiley Reiver Alabama author Bobby Mathews has followed up his well-regarded 2022 release Living the Gimmick with the newly released Magic City Blues, a novel that, for all his first book’s strengths, reveals how dramatically Mathews is growing as a crime author. Blues depends on Mathews’ […]

  • Pulling Free of the Roots

    A Review of Eli Cranor’s Ozark Dogs By Wiley Reiver Eli Cranor’s 2022 debut novel Don’t Know Tough rightly garnered impressive critical notice, being among USA Today’s “Best Books of the Year” and the New York Times’ “Best Crime Novels.” In addition, the Mystery Writers of America recently nominated it as a Best First Novel […]

  • But You Still Have To Live With It

    A Review of Scott Blackburn’s It Dies With You By Wiley Reiver Good crime novels are never really only about a crime. I’ll go further: Great crime novels aren’t even primarily about legal wrongdoing, its motivations and consequences for perpetrators and victims. The story of the impoverished St. Petersburg student with his borrowed axe and […]

  • Everything That Sinks Must Emerge

    A Review of Kelly J. Ford’s Real Bad Things By Wiley Reiver As I made my way through Kelly J. Ford’s stellar second novel, I kept thinking of how much Flannery O’Connor would have enjoyed and appreciated this story. Now, stay with me here. I’m entirely confident that as an artist with a cogent, comprehensive […]

  • Brothers in Harms

    A Review of Mark Westmoreland’s A Mourning Song By Wiley Reiver Mark Westmoreland’s A Mourning Song, (Shotgun Honey, 2023) the sequel to his gritty, snarling A Violent Gospel, explores the consequences of violence and loss in a way not often found in genre fiction. To be sure, this second story about Mack and Marshall Dooley […]

  • Darkness Breaks

    a review of Chris McGinley’s Coal Black: Stories Reviewed by Wiley Reiver The late great Barry Hannah liked to declare this about writing stories: “You get in, you get out.” I suppose that saying could be reasonably interpreted in more than one way, and sometimes I’ve wondered if Hannah himself could or would say what […]