Occasionally I've noted hits in my site meter coming from the blog Kick Him, Honey, the web digs of writer Benjamin Whitmer.
After a good review of his debut novel, Pike, by friend Marko, I'd been meaning to read it myself, and Sunday noon-ish I Kindled up a copy...
...and didn't put it down 'til I finished that evening, feeling like I'd just taken a good shot to the jaw. Wow.
Was No Country For Old Men too relentlessly cheerful and bubbly for your tastes? Dirty White Boys too morally unambiguous? Then this is your feel-good family hit of the summer, right here.
Words like "bleak" and "gritty" don't really do it justice. At the same time, it is beautifully written and deftly paced. There are times when he paints a picture with words right on you, so real that you want to go and shower it off, but you have to stay and turn the page, as stuck in the story as the characters are in their lives, drawn on by the faint hope that maybe there'll be a happy ending to this mess after all.
Be aware that the book is rated R for... well, pretty much everything for which you can get an R rating.