The Shotgun Rule (Hardcover)
Ballantine Books, 9780345481351, 256pp.
Publication Date: August 28, 2007
The first stand-alone thriller by critically acclaimed author Charlie Huston, The Shotgun Rule is a raw tale of four teenage friends who go looking for a little trouble–and find it.
Blood spilled on the asphalt of this town long years gone has left a stain, and it’s spreading.
Not that a thing like that matters to teenagers like George, Hector, Paul, and Andy. It’s summer 1983 in a northern California suburb, and these working-class kids have been killing time the usual ways: ducking their parents, tinkering with their bikes, and racing around town getting high and boosting their neighbors’ meds. Just another typical summer break in the burbs. Till Andy’s bike is stolen by the town’s legendary petty hoods, the Arroyo brothers. When the boys break into the Arroyos’ place in search of the bike, they stumble across the brothers’ private industry: a crank lab. Being the kind of kids who rarely know better, they do what comes naturally: they take a stash of crank to sell for quick cash. But doing so they unleash hidden rivalries and crimes, and the dark and secret past of their town and their families.
The spreading stain is drawing local drug lords, crooked cops, hard-riding bikers, and the brutal history of the boys’ fathers in its wake.
About the Author
Praise For The Shotgun Rule…
Praise for Charlie Huston
“Huston is one of the most remarkable prose stylists to emerge from the noir tradition in this century, and The Shotgun Rule only confirms his talent, his grasp of dialogue and machine-gun narration . . . and his heart. There’s a lot of blood in this book, and a lot of heart. It’s Stand By Me on dexedrine.”
“Among the new voices in twenty-first-century crime fiction, Charlie Huston . . . is where it’s at.”
–The Washington Post
“Huston writes dialogue so combustible it could fuel a bus and characters crazy enough to take it on the road.”
–The New York Times Book Review
“[A] fantastically hopped-up thriller . . . a wrong-man plot worthy of Hitchcock.”
–Entertainment Weekly (Editor’s Choice)
“Anyone not acquainted with Charlie Huston’s blistering, unputdownable novels will want to tie their sneakers nice and tight before starting The Shotgun Rule, or they are apt to be blasted clean out of them.”