Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Dead Heat with the Reaper -- William E. Wallace

Dead Heat with the Reaper isn't a novel.  It's two novellas, and in each one the main character is more or less in the situation indicated by the title.

In "Legacy" a retired guy named Frank Trask learns that he has only a short time to live.  He wants to put it to good use, but he also wants to help out someone who needs the kind of assistance that money can't provide.  It requires a special kind of person, and Frank just might be the one.

"The Creep" is Alan Baldocchi, who survived an IED in Afghanistan but who's so horribly scarred that he frightens people.  He's retreated into alcoholism and an attitude that scares people as much or more than his appearance.  Against all the odds he develops a friendship with a young woman, but both of the have been targeted by a gang of toughs.  Someone's going to have to step up.  Like Frank Trask, Baldocci might be the only one who can.

Both novellas feature sharp writing and characterization.  They're intense hardboiled fiction in small doses.


Jeff Meyerson said...

I don't know how good they are but I love the title.


Don Coffin said...

Jeff--The title reminded me of a bit on a Firesign Theatre album--"Beat the Reaper."