Thuglit: Last Writes is the latest, and unfortunately, the last issue of Thuglit franchise. The final issue contains twelve quality stories that are very good in their own right as well as also honoring what has come before them.
After a very short introduction from Editor Todd Robinson, Nick Kolakowski is up with his story “A Bad Day in Boat Repo.” The client is Clive Stevens and he has a cargo vessel in Cuban waters. The crew was paid off to walk away from it and the harbormaster wants an incredible amount of money to release the ship. Mr. Stevens can’t use the normal channels, won’t pay the money, and wants the narrator to repo the vessel and bring it back to the Bahamas. Since Mr. Stevens is adamant against employing the authorities clearly means the cargo is something illegal and most likely drug related. That is the first strike against taking the gig and there are a number more culminating with the fact it is in Cuban waters. But, there is a lot of money at stake so soon the repo man and his number two, Limonov, have a plan and are on the way from the Bahamas to Cuba.
Ray did not want a baby in “What’s A Jim Hat?” by Nick Manzolillo. But, things have changed and he knows he has to do what needs to be done. His woman, Snack, is pregnant and he has to provide. He’s going to talk to Lou because Lou is his local conduit to the local crime boss. Hopefully, there is something he can do. All he is looking for is an opportunity as he needs the money bad.
Somebody should have shot Richie Vaillard years ago. He would have been shot down in the states. But, this is Canada and so it took way longer for Richie to get his. In “The Missing Piece” by Aaron Fox-Lerner, Guy did it. Now his big brother has to keep his baby brother safe and out of a mess that seems to getting bigger and worse by the hour.
He knows his meeting with Jackie is a last supper of sorts. Differences have to be settled in “Separate Checks” by Mike McCrary. Hunter has his gun, has made plans, and is keenly aware of what she can do as he has seen her kill a lot of people.
Duchamp is taking Sara out to the ghost town in the swamp. Mid-August and the heat and humidity take their toll on the two in the small boat. But, what is coming up out of the swamp thanks to Westerfield Chemical is far worse in “The Last Living Thing” by Andrew Paul.
Willie Lynn isn’t in the best of moods in “Flip the Record” by Patrick Cooper. The August sun and humidity certainly isn’t helping him as he lives out his days at the retirement community. The property manager of the place in Boca Raton isn’t helping either. Jazz records and his friend Henry keep him centered in the moment. Though he isn’t always with it, Willie has got a plan to liberate some cash so the two of them can get out of the Gracious Homes Retirement Community hellhole and go hang out on a Mexican beach.
Abby has been having a hard time of late in “Juke” by Kyle Summerall. It hasn’t been easy on her partner. The stress and all has taken a huge toll. At least there is always Larkin’s Bar for some escape from reality with folks who don’t know his personal situation.
It never is a good idea to date a coworker. Especially if it the hired help. Amber didn’t check in and he knows that means the worst. Not only for her, but for him too in “Forever Amber” by Dale T. Phillips. The only question is how many he can take out first.
A screaming child in your backseat will drive any parent insane. The jackknifed tractor trailer, the gridlocked road covered in ice, and everything else isn’t helping Travis Hayes in “All Things Come Around” by William Soldan. Trying to get home any way he can and to escape the gridlock, he follows a number of cars off the nearest exit only to then realize he is back in the old neighborhood where he had a far different life and plenty of memories.
Lonnie leads the life of a scammer and a thief so Vanessa isn’t supposed to know where she lives. But, she is in his place as “Prowl” by James Queally begins and that is most definitely not a good thing. The big Armenian with her who is built like a linebacker is going to have to be dealt with the hard way.
Despite the drought, the almond trees around them have somehow thrived. For Colby and Trav the plan is to do some payback to Galinger Farmworks. These folks have been taking all the water in the Central Valley of California, among other things, and they have to be stopped and sent a message. That is easier said than done in “Tulare” by Blair Kroeber.
The candy apple red Plymouth Duster in the far corner of the garage has caught the customer’s eye in “Slant Six” by S. A. Cosby. He wants to buy it and thinks he made a good offer. The customer has no idea what the car represents and why it would not be for sale. The car cost far too much and more than he could ever get back.
As one expects in the Thuglit series, the nine tales in this last issue are all solidly good ones. Thuglit: Last Writes features crime fiction at its best as well as subtle and not so subtle social commentary. The struggle to survive permeates every story to its core. Thuglit: Last Writes is not only a highly entertaining read, it is a fitting end to what has been a great ride in the passenger seat as the black sedan, driven by a succession of talented folks, sped down shadowy dangerous streets.
Thuglit: Last Rites
Editors Todd Robinson, Allison Glasgow, and Julie McCarron
eBook (print format available)
Material was picked up back in late June to read and review by way of funds in my Amazon Associate account.
Kevin R. Tipple ©2016