Tuesday, January 21, 2020
The Righter Side, by Reed Farrel Coleman,
This is Coleman's third appearance in this space. Here is how it starts.
Most places in this state, it’s the wrong side of the tracks. Not in Brixton, no sir. In Brixton it’s the wrong side of the river. That’s funny on its face, ’cause any sane fool’d be hard-pressed to make a case for there being much of a right side in Brixton, neither. Let’s just say that there’s a…righter side. That the folks on the righter side’s got access to better crank.
So we know right away this story isn't going to be about tea parties in an English village.
The narrator is Pete Frame and his best friend is Jack Clooney. Jack explains that his own family are "a bunch of born scumbags in charge of what we got comin'."
One of the reasons the two guys get along so well is that Pete and his girlfriend Becki provide a beard for Jack who pretends to be dating her, but is really interested in her brother. That is something Jack's father would never be able to accept and "He has a lot less trouble expressing his will than our Lord and Savior. He or one of his clan lay hands on you, there ain't no room for spiritual interpretation."
I am quoting a lot because the language is what makes this story so special and enjoyable.