Columbus Noir

Akashic. Mar. 2020. 288p. ed. by ed. by Andrew Welsh-Huggins. ISBN 9781617757655. pap. $15.95. M
The first noir-themed collection put out by Akashic was Brooklyn Noir, edited by Pete Hamill. This volume, compiled by reporter Welsh-Huggins is the 101st edition; 13 more are already slated to appear. With one exception, the collections are city-based. Most of the tales are crime, not detective, stories—with a noir twist. Columbus used to be a sleepy place, but modern tensions have hit the metropolis with a bang. An opioid crisis, rising sales of heroin and Fentanyl, and tension between the well-off and the poor conspire to make the it a perilous place to navigate. The 14 stories here vary in quality but the best are little shockers, starting with Robin Yokum’s revenge thriller, “The Satin Fox,” and continuing with Nancy Zafris’s “Foreign Study,” an ugly tale of how an unsuspecting immigrant seeking to advance his education ends up lying on the ground, beaten and broken.
VERDICT This attractive collection will appeal to lovers of crime noir and short crime fiction.

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