“The splendid anthology “Down to the River” (Down & Out Books, 242 pages, $15.95), edited by Tim O’Mara and with an introduction by Hank Phillippi Ryan, features 20 crack crime stories centered around rivers with an eye toward preserving America’s waterways. Kind of like a Go Green version of the old Alfred Hitchcock collections I grew up on.
“But since these are crime stories, expect some red sprinkled in for good measure, as is the case in the fabulously titled and terrific Blue Song, Edged in Woe by Bruce DeSilva and Patricia Smith. DeSilva is a former Providence Journal reporter and Smith, his wife, is a poet.
“Featuring two characters amorphously called Girl and Boy, this lyrically-etched, gothic tale of a violent sexual encounter and its aftermath rings of John Hart in wondrously depicting the costs of impulse.
“Or Reed Farrel Coleman’s The Righter Side, which chronicles a dark world that has none. Then there’s Charles Salzberg’s No Good Deed, classic postmodern noir featuring not much good at all around New York’s East River.
“Down to the River features 17 more tales that share varying levels of moral morass rising from the very waters around which they’re set. An early candidate for the best crime-mystery anthology of the year.”
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