Bill Beverly
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A gripping literary crime novel with a compact cast whose intimate story opens up to become a reflection on the nature of belonging and reinvention.
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"One of the greatest literary crime novels you will read in your lifetime"- Donald Ray Pollock, author of Knockemstiff and The Devil All the Time
When East, a low-level lookout for a Los Angeles drug organisation, loses his watch house in a police raid, his boss recruits him for a very different job: a road trip straight down the middle of white, rural America to assassinate a judge in Wisconsin.
Having no choice, East and a crew of untested boys including his trigger-happy younger brother, Ty, leave the only home they've ever known in a nondescript blue van, with a roll of cash, a map and a gun they shouldn't have.
Along the way, the country surprises East. The blood on his hands isn't the blood he expects. And he reaches places where only he can decide which way to go or which person to become.
By way of THE WIRE and in the spirit of Scott Smith s A Simple Plan and Richard Price's Clockers, DODGERS is itself something entirely original: a gripping literary crime novel with a compact cast whose intimate story opens up to become a reflection on the nature of belonging and reinvention.

Customer reviews

A Brilliant Debut NovelReview by Paul
Dodgers is my standout debut thriller of the year that will take your breath away, this is the literary world’s The Wire. Usually when I see the words literary crime thriller I tend to shudder, as the story is neither one nor the other but falls between the two. Dodgers has made me question my understanding of literary crime as it delivers on so many levels, it is as addictive as crack cocaine!

Dodgers follows the story of East, a drug gangs house lookout at a crack den in The Boxes in Los Angeles, he is fifteen and knows what he is doing. But things go wrong when a police raid takes place and a young girl is shot, he thinks he will be held responsible by Fin the gang leader and dealt with. What he is told instead is that he is going across country as part of a hit squad on a judge who is hiding out in Wisconsin.

Fin has assembled a four man team, which includes East and his thirteen year old half-brother, Ty, who speaks little but loves guns. There is Walter who may be larger than life but he is an intelligent teenager and Michael the eldest of them who is there as the sensible person to stop them killing each other. They are given a van that looks nothing special, but looks can be deceiving, and this is the beginning of a long road trip, especially as East has never been out of LA.

The journey from LA to Wisconsin is not without incident, and also helps East to grow and see things he has never encountered before. Through East’s eyes we see a world as he sees it, malfunctioning, that needs to be closely observed, that seems inescapable to him, he feels he is stuck in his punishing world.

I loved the way in which the decisions that each of the characters make throughout the book shows that they can be at odds with each other, but are loyal foot soldiers to the cause. They also discover that their impulses and split second decision making will either doom them or save them. East especially is on a voyage of discovery and what sort of young man he wants to become. The characters in this book are remarkable, flawed and believable, all out to become someone else.

Dodgers is one of the most enjoyable crime thrillers I have read in a while, for a debut it is flawless and shows us what an exciting talent the literary world has in Bill Beverly. The prose Beverly uses is engaging and colourful, descriptive and expressive, all of which draws you further in to the story, with some wonderful imagery, being the back drop and colours of America.

I believe I have read a literary crime thriller that will sit alongside many of the classics in years to come, and rightly hold its own.
(Posted on 26/01/2016)

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Product details

Additional Info

ISBN 9781843448563
Format Hardback
Publication date 30 Mar 2016

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