Reading Preston Lang’s The Blind Rooster (Crime Wave Press) feels a lot like people-watching at the Laundromat. The major figures resemble coin-op types, people resigned to the vague indignity of paying to have their underwear tumble around in a public washer. And don’t take your eyes off them for a moment—they’d just as soon pinch a quarter from your pocket as take your favorite pair of jeans from a hot dryer.
What strikes me most in Lang’s work is the casualness of his narrative voice. His debut The Carrier (280 Steps), which came out earlier this year, had a similar understated tenor. It’s a manner of delivery that allows him to present the utterly random alongside the marginally droll alongside the plainly silly alongside the brazenly vile, all without ever changing pitch. There’s no shrill emotion or overbearing melodrama or manic activity. His narrative moves fluidly from one moment to the next, and between the minds of his six principle protagonists, each of them vying for first place as the least remarkable person in all of crime fiction.
The Blind Rooster
By Preston Lang
Crime Wave Press, November 2014