The Crazy Kill
Chester B. Himes
Vintage Press, reprint 1989 (orig. 1959)
First Line: It was four o’clock, Wednesday morning, July 14th, in Harlem U.S.A. Seventh Avenue was as dark and lonely as haunted graves.
Well last week’s snow left me plenty of time to get ahead on my reading but the general malaise and lethargy engendered by a snowy couple of days certainly put a damper on my writing. The next couple of reviews should mark the tail end of my little project and each (barring this review, and the upcoming Mystical Arts of Erasing All Signs of Death review) should cover a different decade (a late minute addition to the experience). Now, however we’re looking at another crime thriller by the oft-overlooked (though less so in recent years) Chester Himes. I first experienced Himes’ fiction in college while reading A Rage in Harlem (originally titled For Love of Imabelle) and found his work fascinating though, for my tastes at least, less compulsively readable then other authors of the same genre thanks in part to Himes’ tendency towards the surreal and outright absurd.