Worst Enemies

Worst Enemies

by Dana King

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Penns River rarely sees two homicides in a year. Two in little over a week is almost too much for the police force to handle. The assigned detectives -- Ben Dougherty, a former MP and Penns River native, and retired Pittsburgh cop Willie Grabek -- find links to bind the two cases, but their investigation is complicated by the involvement of private investigator Daniel Rollison, a retired spy on a suspect's payroll who is really working for himself.

Pittsburgh mob boss Mike Mannarino also lives in Penns River and has more than a passing interest in the case. The two cops' savvy competes with the limitations of their small town's resources and the interference of Rollison and Mannarino in a story that shows identifying a killer and proving it are separate things.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940156986217
Publisher: Down & Out Books
Publication date: 10/26/2016
Series: Penns River , #1
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 402
Sales rank: 1,072,839
File size: 595 KB

About the Author

Dana King owns two nominations for the Private Eye Writers of America Shamus Award, for A Small Sacrifice (2013) and again two years later for The Man in the Window. His novel Grind Joint was noted by Woody Haut in the L.A. Review of Books as one of the fifteen best noir reads of 2013. A short story, “Green Gables,” appeared in the anthology Blood, Guts, and Whiskey, edited by Todd Robinson. Other short fiction has appeared in Thuglit, Spinetingler, New Mystery Reader, A Twist of Noir, Mysterical-E, and Powder Burn Flash.

Dana lives in Maryland with The Beloved Spouse. His blog, One Bite at a Time, resides at danaking.blogspot.com.

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Worst Enemies 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Benjamin_Sobieck More than 1 year ago
Comparison's between Dana King's new crime novel, "Worst Enemies," and the classic Highsmith work, "Strangers on a Train," are more than apt. Both begin with two men plotting to kill the other's wife. Perhaps out of concern for wary readers' suspicions, author King acknowledges the similarity in several references, although he places his jaded husbands in a strip club. At first, it seems King is making a literal update of the classic story. The first man, Tom, breaks into the other man's house and kills the wife as promised. King gets the reader geared up for the next murder, then throws in a huge twist. No, it's not the same deus ex machina that "Strangers on a Train" uses. But it's so arresting, I was hooked deep. "Worst Enemies" opens wide from a pedestrian quasi-homage into a rabbit hole of crime. The more you find out, the less you know. Not in a "where the heck is the story going?" sort of way. More of an "I have to keep reading to find out what happens" way. That King can put the many pieces together in a such a compelling way speaks to the character management he displayed in his debut, "Wild Bill" (read my review here on Goodreads). The cast is large, but it never feels that way. King keeps the story grounded in police detective Ben Dougherty, a military veteran trying to shed his hard bark. By the end, "Worst Enemies" was miles from "Strangers on a Train." A careful reader might notice similarities between certain characters and the real-life author Highsmith, but they don't distract from the experience. When a crime novel goes above and beyond a mere interpretation of a classic, the reader is left as satisfied as the author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It's compelling. Some of the crudeness and misogyny the characters expressed had me wincing and hoping it was overdone, but there are moments of human insight that rise high too. I'm conflicted, but can't deny this is an excellent and memorable crime-mystery novel. So 5 stars. --Books4Me
KaneH More than 1 year ago
If you want to discover a great voice in crime fiction, look to Dana King. His gritty novel of Penns River tells of a depressed area near Pittsburg, where the Steel Belt became the Rust Belt when the economy collapsed and the mills closed. It's a blue-collar place where it's tough to make a living, and where a lot of folks turn to unlawful ways to get by. Here's a book where the cops talk and act like real policemen, not the ones we see on television. They live and breathe and bleed, make bad choices, and suffer the consequences. A local murder in a normally sleepy town rocks their world, and a second murder really ups the stakes. The characters here are so true to life, no mere cardboard to prop up the plot. King handles the investigation like a master, showing us both sides of the equation, good guys and bad. I enjoyed this book, and am going to find more of the author's work. Check it out- you will, too.