Slow Bear by Anthony Neil Smith
In the oil fields of North Dakota, times were good during the boom. Some people got rich: Santana the Exile certainly did. A lot of other people got jobs. A lot of bars and strip joints got busy.
Then the boom times ended and everything slowly crumbled back to the red dust from which it was built.
Micah 'Slow Bear' Cross used to be a reservation cop. He wasn't good at it but he was good at being bad at it. The one time he tried to be a good cop, he got his whole left arm shot off.
Now he sits around the casino all day flirting with Kylie, the Lady Barmaid, and giving people advice on their problems in exchange for some chips. Then in one bad day he's beaten up, banished, and given an assignment: frame Santana The Exile.
But Santana is into some really bad things. And if Slow Bear thought life had been rough so far, it's about to get a whole lot worse: for him, for Kylie, and for anybody who stands in the way of a one-armed man on a mission...
This is noir at its deepest, at its most savage, at its most vital, from an acknowledged modern master of the genre.
"More happens in the first two chapters of Slow Bear than in some literary novelist's entire output.Thrills, spills. Twists, turns. Heart, soul. As good as it gets." - Mark Ramsden, author of Mistress Murder, Radical Desire and Dread: The Art of Serial Killing
"Anthony Neil Smith mixes dark humor, menace, mayhem and a washed-out, one-armed hero in a noirish tale that never stops to take a breath." - Linwood Barclay, author of No Time for Goodbye and Too Close to Home
"Slow Bear is everything I love about dark fiction and don't see nearly enough of. Anthony Neil Smith writes uncompromisingly dark fiction without sacrificing the humanity or entertainment value of his characters. If you always wondered what Jim Rockford would be if he went full dark, Slow Bear is the book for you." Bryon Quertermous
"Slow Bear is many things: a bull in a china shop; a raging lion; a stubborn mule; a fire-breathing dragon; a wise old bird. a drunken old skunk; and a murderous hyena. What's more, he's the kind of noir anti-hero who'll have you rooting for him all the way, which is good because, the way things are going, he certainly needs someone on his side. Another stunning creation by Anthony Neil Smith." - Nigel Bird
"Okay. So here's the deal. Only pick this book up and read it if you gravitate toward realistic, gritty, entertaining stories that will keep you on the edge of your seat and force you to read through the night, making you fall asleep the next day at work and get fired. If you value your sleep and your job, then by all means don't pick it up. Doc Smith has done it again—contributed to the unemployment rolls and helped increase the sale of triple lattes. This is a big-boy novel from a big-boy writer." Les Edgerton, Author, Adrenaline Junkie, The Rapist, The Bitch and others.
"Slow Bear is anything but a slow read. It's a blazing fast, brutal hurricane of a novella that'll leave you breathless and hollering for more. Anthony Neil Smith is one of those authors who must not be missed." J. D. Rhoades
"Funky and furious, SLOW BEAR is a low-blow shot of black humor and hard boiled noir. Anthony Neil Smith's laconic, one-armed Indian ex-cop protagonist lands a knock-out." - J. Todd Scott