Thanksgiving

Richard Lange's 'The Smack' is refreshingly realistic L.A. Noir

Richard Lange's 'The Smack' is refreshingly realistic L.A. Noir

When we meet Rowan Petty, the protagonist of Richard Lange’s new novel, “The Smack,” he’s alone in a second-rate Reno hotel room on Thanksgiving Day, making phone calls to a list of hopeful investors in a fictitious mother lode of Peruvian ore. Petty is an experienced con man — he’s been on his own since he was 15, jumping from scheme to scheme — but he’s had a rough run of it. He’s been flopping at a series of cheap hotels since the bank foreclosed on his condo in Phoenix, and is now doing the grunt work of a phone scam for his former protégé, a ruthless con who feels no particular loyalty for the man who once took him under his wing.

All this weighs pretty heavily on...

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