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From the creator, writer, and executive producer of the HBO crime series True Detective, comes a dark and visceral literary debut set along the seedy wastelands of Galveston.

On the same day that Roy Cady is diagnosed with a terminal illness, he senses that his boss, a dangerous loan-sharking bar-owner, wants him dead. Known “without affection” to members of the boss’s crew as “Big Country” on account of his long hair, beard, and cowboy boots, Roy is alert to the possibility that a routine assignment could be a deathtrap. Which it is. Yet what the would-be killers do to Roy Cady is not the same as what he does to them, which is to say that after a smoking spasm of violence, they are mostly dead and he is mostly alive.

Before Roy makes his getaway, he realizes there are two women in the apartment, one of them still breathing, and he sees something in her frightened, defiant eyes that causes a fateful decision. He takes her with him as he goes on the run from New Orleans to Galveston, Texas—an action as ill-advised as it is inescapable. The girl’s name is Rocky, and she is too young, too tough, too sexy—and far too much trouble. Roy, Rocky, and her sister hide in the battered seascape of Galveston’s country-western bars and fleabag hotels, a world of treacherous drifters, pickup trucks, and ashed-out hopes. Any chance that they will find safety there is soon lost. Rocky is a girl with quite a story to tell, one that will pursue and damage Roy for a very long time to come.

Recalling the moody violence of the early novels of Cormac McCarthy and Denis Johnson, this powerful, potent, and atmospheric thriller is impossible to put down. Constructed with maximum tension and haunting aftereffect, written in darkly beautiful prose, Galveston announces the arrival of a major new literary talent.
Published: Scribner on Jun 15, 2010
ISBN: 9781439166673
List price: $10.99
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This book was good but I thought it skipped back and forth too much. read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This is an enjoyable dark little book. Under the guise of its characters from the underbelly of life it discusses the role of predetermination in all of our lives. Well written and at times extremely disheartening it weaves the story of a hit man, a young prostitute and her daughter into a tale of fighting against the life you are born into. Strongly recommended.read more
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From Poisoned Pen: "..delivers “a taut first novel suffused with a strong noir sensibility.” Roy Cady is working as a strong-arm man for a low-level New Orleans gangster when two events change his life: he’s diagnosed with terminal cancer, and his boss puts out a hit on him. Soonenough, Roy and a young prostitute, Rocky—thrown together after a blood-spattered encounter with the would-be hit men—are on the run, traveling from New Orleans to Galveston. We know from the start that this road trip is on a collision course with disaster. “The inevitable downward arc of all noir can bring a certain dreary sameness to the proceedings, especially if the writer paints his disasters by the numbers, but Pizzolatto builds tension by moving back and forth in time: we know it all goes bad, but we don’t know how.” And Pizzolatto is a writer with a real feel for the special poetry of noir."read more
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Reviews

This book was good but I thought it skipped back and forth too much.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This is an enjoyable dark little book. Under the guise of its characters from the underbelly of life it discusses the role of predetermination in all of our lives. Well written and at times extremely disheartening it weaves the story of a hit man, a young prostitute and her daughter into a tale of fighting against the life you are born into. Strongly recommended.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
From Poisoned Pen: "..delivers “a taut first novel suffused with a strong noir sensibility.” Roy Cady is working as a strong-arm man for a low-level New Orleans gangster when two events change his life: he’s diagnosed with terminal cancer, and his boss puts out a hit on him. Soonenough, Roy and a young prostitute, Rocky—thrown together after a blood-spattered encounter with the would-be hit men—are on the run, traveling from New Orleans to Galveston. We know from the start that this road trip is on a collision course with disaster. “The inevitable downward arc of all noir can bring a certain dreary sameness to the proceedings, especially if the writer paints his disasters by the numbers, but Pizzolatto builds tension by moving back and forth in time: we know it all goes bad, but we don’t know how.” And Pizzolatto is a writer with a real feel for the special poetry of noir."
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
You're here because it's somewhere. Dogs pant in the streets. Beer won't stay cold. The last new song you liked came out a long, long time ago, and the radio never plays it anymore.If you like your crime novels dark, you won't find many darker than this. Roy Cady is a mob enforcer in New Orleans. He'll rough guys up, or more, for his boss, Stan. The day a doctor shows him a picture of his lungs, filled with what look like snow flurries, is the day his girlfriend moves up and starts dating his boss. Then Stan sends him on an errand to scare a guy, with the odd instruction to not carry any weapons with him. It's enough to save his life when the job turns out to be a set-up, and then a bloodbath. With the exception of a teen-age hooker, he's the only one living by the time the bullets have stopped flying. He takes the girl, Rocky, along as he leaves Louisiana, and she convinces him to stop by her old home in East Texas for a moment. Before long, he's holed up in a run-down motel in Galveston with Rocky and her three-year-old sister in the room next door. "What's the matter with her, then? Having a little one like this. What's wrong with her?""I can't really say. You know how it is. Some people. Something happens to them. Usually when they're young. And they never get any better.""But some do.""I guess. You tend to meet more of the other kind, though."This isn't one of those cheerful ending type books. Everybody's damaged and Roy, the closest thing to a good guy Pizzolatto provides, isn't very good at all. But the author reminds the reader that there's a reason that people are the way they are, that not everybody's as resilient as they need to be to survive. The tension in the story never lets up, even when we know who might have made it out. Pizzolatto's writing perfectly suits the mood and tempo of the story he's written. I'll be waiting for his next book.You're born and forty years later you hobble out of a bar, startled by your own aches. Nobody knows you. You steer down lightless highways, and you invent a destination because movement is key. So you head toward the last thing you have left to lose, with no real idea what you're going to do with it.
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Great story and a joy to read. Couldn't put it down. "Most people call me Killer". "Of course they do".
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wow. what a story. extremely visceral. disturbing but believable story.
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