As you can tell from the cover, The Naked Year isn't a crime novel. It's a straight novel, sort of a hardboiled Gatsby, set in Fort Worth, Texas. When this book was published, Texas had just become an urban state, with more people living in cities t
han on farms. Writers many years later were still complaining about the fact that Texas writers continued to about the state as if it were rural (some of us are still doing that) instead of tackling the stories of people in the big urban environments. This book was way ahead of its time, according to A. C. Greene, who gave it a coveted spot in his 50 Best Books about Texas.
There's plenty of sensationalism if that's what you're looking for. Lots of drinking, sex (nothing overt), and abortion (sensational for the time the book was published, for sure). Excellent writing, and at least one truly disturbing scene when the thrill-seeking youth go out to the local city dump to shoot rats at night.
Anybody interested in Atlee's work in the Joe Gall books should certainly take a look at this one to see where Atlee started.