The nameless first-person narrator in EVERY SHALLOW CUT has lost everything. He's a has-been writer who never was, carrying around his last uncashed royalty check of $12.37 like a talisman. His wife has left him, his home has been foreclosed, his books aren't selling, his pride is gone.
When a group of punks mug him on the street, the narrator snaps, taking down all three young men and stealing their money. With nothing holding him in his ex-wife's home state of Colorado, he starts a cross-country trek back to his birthplace of New York with just the stolen cash, a gun and his dog, Churchill, hoping to reconnect with someone, anyone - his brother, his first love, his long-ago best friend, his agent. The question is, will he find what he's looking for before his breakdown is complete?
Tom Piccirilli is a master of noir. The desperation and hopelessness he writes about don't just live on the page, they are living, breathing monsters that bludgeon you about the head and shoulders, forcing you to pay attention, demanding you JUST FREAKING LISTEN.
EVERY SHALLOW CUT is a noir masterpiece. He calls it a "noirella." I call it an exposed nerve, a red and raw wound that will punch you in the head and keep smacking you until you look straight into the eyes of your own fears and insecurities. It's the best thing I've read this year.