If you have read any of Chris Rhatigan’s books than you know he offers a lean, stripped approach to his books; the writing contains only enough to drive the plot forward and the extraneous, dull parts are surgically removed leaving only vital muscular prose behind. This surgical precision is what makes Rhatigan a must-read author whose books fit so nicely under the All Due Respect banner.
In his latest offering, Race to the Bottom, Rhatigan tells the story of Roy, who after getting booted from his girlfriend’s house for a series of events he cannot recall through the fog of a drunken stupor, finds himself living on the couch of his local drug dealer, Banksy. But after a night out with Banksy, Roy finds himself in over his head; accused of being an accessory to murder, hounded by the law, and unsure of who to turn to or trust.
One of the many highlights to this book is the character of Roy. He begins the novel as a shit-stain on the underwear of humanity and never once does he even hint at finding any hope of salvation. He is a lowlife who is content to be a lowlife; he just doesn’t want to be a lowlife who is prison. He is a quintessential classic noir scumbag.
One again Rhatigan pens a sure-fire winner and All Due Respect publishes yet another gem. Both of those statements seem par for the course from where I sit. I am eagerly waiting the next Rhatigan book and hope the wait isn’t too long.
Highly Recommend. Reviewed by Derrick Horodyski.