Small Crimes

Now a Netflix movie starring Nikolaj Coster-Waldau!

Crooked cop Joe Denton gets out of prison early after disfiguring the local district attorney, which doesn’t help his popularity. Nobody wants Joe to hang around, not his ex-wife, his parents or his former colleagues. Meanwhile, local mafia don Manny Vassey is dying of cancer and keen to cut a deal with God. He’s thinking of singing to the DA if this will set him up for a better afterlife. And he knows stuff that will send Joe down again for a very long time.

Set in the pressure cooker of a very small town, Small Crimes is an explosive thriller that brings the claustrophobic hell of Jim Thompson and James M. Cain right up to date.

Reviews for Small Crimes

“This tale is told by one of fortune’s fools: Joe Denton is a crooked ex-cop in Vermont who’s just been released from jail after serving seven years for stabbing the local district attorney in the face. Since what’s past is never truly past in crime noir, no sooner does Joe step out of the slammer than cosmic IOU’s begin to rain down on his head. First, the disfigured DA cheerfully greets Joe outside the prison and announces that a local crime kingpin (and Joe’s secret boss) is dying of cancer and has found religion. The kingpin’s expected confession should send Joe straight back behind bars. Then, the local sheriff (also crooked) orders Joe to murder the DA before the crime kingpin can confess. The plot of Small Crimes ricochets out from this claustrophobic opening, and it’s a thing of sordid beauty.”

NPR’s Best Crime & Mystery Novels of 2008

“spare but ingeniously twisted and imbued with a glossy coating of black humor.”

Washington Post’s Best Books of 2008

“Zeltserman’s breakthrough third crime novel deserves comparison with the best of James Ellroy”

Publisher’s Weekly, *Starred review*

“Small Crimes is one of the finest dark suspense novels I’ve read in the past few years.”

Ed Gorman