I mean that in a good way, of course. Jake Hinkson's Hell on Church Street begins one way and then doesn't go where you might think it would, so what I'm about to say here is all a spoiler in case you want to skip it. The main story is about Geoffrey Webb, an expert manipulator who chooses to become a youth minister because religious folks are so easy to manipulate. He immediately falls for the preacher's daughter. Need I tell you that things go wrong? Just how wrong they go might surprise you. Webb is one sick cookie, but then he's not the only one. This is dark stuff, both darkly comic and darkly disturbing. If you like that kind of thing, then this book's exactly what you're looking for. Hinkson's in control all the way, and he never lets up on the tension. Check it out.
And then there's Corrosion. Talk about books starting one way and then springing something on you. Here's a fine example. Joseph Downs is a war vet who served his country proudly. He paid a price, as his face is pretty much melted off. His truck dies outside a small town, and he stays to get it fixed. He meets a woman who seems to care for him, and he's crazy (heh) about her. She has a husband who has a big insurance policy. So you think you know what's going to happen. Well, think again. That's the point at which the curve balls begin. I can say no more, but this book's as much about identity as it is about crime. Did I say that Hinkson's book was dark and funny and sick? Well, so is this one, and it might even up the shock value a little bit.
Both these books are fast, dirty reads. Definitely not recommended for cozy fans, but the rest of you will want to grab 'em.