The Smack By Richard Lange Mulholland, 368 pages, $34
Rowan Petty is a likable grifter.
His even more likable new girlfriend is a Black hooker whose working name is Tinafey. Petty, accustomed to putting together modest scams, gets mixed up in a deal involving two million bucks in American military funds smuggled out of Afghanistan.
With such a large sum at stake, many more fundamentally bad guys threaten not just Petty’s chances at the money but his and Tinafey’s lives.
What Richard Lange does with this basic material is something admirable.
He’s a writer of clean and easy prose, and he’s strong at structuring a narrative that builds toward an ever tightening climax. “The Smack” adds up to one of the nicer surprises of the season.