cover image New Orleans Noir

New Orleans Noir

, . . Akashic, $14.95 (281pp) ISBN 978-1-933354-24-8

The excellent 12th entry in Akashic's city-specific noir series illustrates the diversity of the chosen locale with 18 previously unpublished short stories from authors both well known (Laura Lippman, Barbara Hambly) and emerging (Kalamu Ya Salaam, Jeri Cain Rossi). Appropriately, Smith divides the book into pre- and post-Katrina sections, and many of the more powerful tales describe the disaster's hellish aftermath. Standouts in the first section, "Before the Levees Broke," include Laura Lippman's short, twisted tale of victims and victimizers, "Pony Girl," and Tim McLoughlin's "Scared Rabbit," a tight, punchy account of a police shooting. Among the contributions to the post-Katrina "Life in Atlantis" section, Thomas Adcock's gritty crime tale, "Lawyers' Tongues," captures the chaos of the hurricane's wake with notable skill. (Apr.)