“Despite having had sex with her and covered up a murder with her, I had only the vaguest notion of who she was.” -No Tomorrow by Jake Hinkson
Every reader needs a list of authors they know will knock each book the write out of the ballpark. You know the kind of author I’m talking about; the ones that write books and stories with great plots, characters that have depth and soul, and dialogue that jumps off the page and rings true to the reader’s ear. The type of author that, no matter what genre or time period they are writing in, make you feel like you are living with the characters and they whisper their story into your ear and bring out an emotional response from you. The good news is we are living in a time where there are many such authors writing in the noir genre. The great news is one such author just published another book. That author is Jake Hinkson and his latest release is No Tomorrow published by New Pulp Press and believe me when I say it is one hell of a winner.
Hinkson has had one hell of a writing career so far. Each book he has put out has shown him to be an author who grasps the nuances of any quality book or short story; a great cast of characters whom each have depth and allow the reader to understand and connect with their motivations, a plot that moves quickly and smoothly without getting bogged down with unnecessary minutiae, and dialogue that is believable.
Hinkson continues his trend of penning great books. With this release he tackles a task that might have tripped up a less experienced and savvy author. He not only chose to write his narration through the eyes of a woman in 1947, he chose to make her a lesbian in a time where it was a taboo subject in and of itself.
Billie Dixon (yes, she is a woman with a man’s name) works for a motion picture distributor and she traverses through the Midwest looking to get their films into small town movie theaters. She's happy to have a job and enjoys the interactions she has throughout her journeys. She eventually winds up in Stock’s Settlement and finds herself pitted against a local preacher who is hell-bent on keeping motion pictures out of the town. Billie is more than willing to attempt to change his mind, but matters become complicated when she senses an attraction between the preacher’s wife and herself.
As in any noir story, this attraction leads all parties involved into a web of lies, deceit, and murder. This book gives you the feeling that Hinkson could have dug it up out of an attic where it has been sitting for the past 50 years. I couldn’t shake the feeling that this book owed a lot to the old dime store novels that are now labeled as classics. Hinkson’s ability to create a book that is relevant to today’s noir landscape, yet hawks back to the classics is a surefire sign that he is near the top of the heap of authors publishing books today.
This book is like a stick of dynamite … the fuse it lit when you read the opening paragraph and the reader just tries to stay ahead of the impending blast. Prepare to lose sleep if you start it at night. Hinkson continues his streak of putting out ass kicking books.
Reviewed by Derrick Horodyski