Synopses & Reviews
Set in a small town in the Southwest, a soulful work of literary noir rife with vengeance and contrition from a fresh voice in fiction — the author of the highly acclaimed The Terror of Living
Life hasn't worked out the way Ray Lamar planned. A widower who's made some tragic mistakes, he's got one good thing going for him: he's calm and efficient under pressure, usually with a gun in his hand. A useful skill to have when you're paid to hurt people who stand in your boss's way.
But Ray isn't sure he wants to be that man anymore. He wants to go home and see the son he hopes will recognize him. He wants to make a new life far from the violence of the last ten years, and he believes that one last job will take him there. A job that should be simple, easy, clean.
Ray knows there's no such thing as easy, and sure enough, the first day ends in a catastrophic mess. Now the runners who have always moved quietly through this desert town on the Mexican border want answers. And revenge. Short on time, with no one to trust but himself, Ray must come up with a plan, or else Coronado, New Mexico's lady sheriff will have a vicious bloodbath on her hands.
Set in a town once rich with oil, now forgotten and struggling, The Carrion Birds is filled with refreshingly realistic and vulnerable characters. With its masterfully orchestrated suspense and unexpected bursts of lyricism, this is a remarkably unsettling and indelible work in the tradition of Cormac McCarthy, Elmore Leonard, and Dennis Lehane.
“Waite writes with grace and poignancy and keen comprehension of hard men in hard circumstances....[The] narrative rages as a perfect torrent of violence flooding toward its inevitable conclusion. Fierce and lyrical.” Kirkus Reviews
“A lean and mean, modern-day noir western filled with complex characters and situations...hauntingly dark and elegiac writing...a candidate for best crime book of 2013.” New York Journal of Books
“[A] searing western noir. Three people face terrifying moral choices as they each wish for what they cant have: life as it was before their small border town...was doomed by its dying oil economy.” Publishers Weekly (starred review)
The Carrion Birds
from Urban Waite, author of the highly acclaimed The Terror of Living
, is a remarkable work of literary noir.
Hired gun Ray Lamar is ready to put his past behind him. He wants to see his twelve-year-old son and start a new life — away from the violence of the last ten years. One last heist will take him there. All he has to do is steal a rival's stash. Simple, easy, clean.
But when things start to go very wrong, Ray realizes the path to redemption isn't always easy.
A soulful tale of violence, vengeance, and contrition, The Carrion Birds is an elegant depiction of one mans last chance to make things right.
About the Author
Urban Waite is the author of The Terror of Living, named one of Esquire's Ten Best Books of 2011. His short fiction has appeared in the Best of the West 2009 anthology, the Southern Review, and other journals. He has degrees from the University of Washington, Western Washington University, and Emerson College. He lives in Seattle with his wife.