"A Career Spent Disappointing People," by Tod Goldberg, in Palm Springs Noir, edited by Barbara DeMarco-Barrett, Akashic Press, 2021.
The publisher sent me a free copy of this book.
This is the second appearance here by Mr. Goldberg.
Shane leads an interesting life. He makes part of his living singing karaoke. He makes the rest of it robbing houses with his Gold Mike, using information gathered from the people who listened to him singing karaoke.
But that's in the past because when our story begins Shane has a bullet hole in his foot and several large chunks of Gold Mike in the trunk of his car. These two facts are not unrelated.
When that car breaks down in a small desert town Shane finds himself in a bar having a conversation with an attorney and a clown. The attorney wants to give him advice, possibly have him as a client, and has another use for him in mind. The clown, well, it takes a while to figure out what the clown wants.
A bizarre story of desperate people. What made this the best-of-the-week for me was the ending, which I wouldn't characterize as a twist, but definitely a surprise.