A Byzantine tangle of crime, sex, drugs, violence and retribution in red-neck Texas from the ultimate hard-boiled writer Milo Milogragovitch, Crumley's uncontrollable, cocaine-snorting Montanan, takes centre stage in this adrenaline-fuelled thriller by the master of hard-boiled fiction. This time Milo's trying to find his feet in Texas, earning a living as a bar owner and a PI on the side. A tedious job tracking down a runaway wife takes a violent turn when he finds himself in a bar with ex-con Enos Walker, who's out for revenge on the partners who turned him in. Turning a gun on Walker, bar manager Billy Long has accidently shot himself and the police are only too keen to add his murder to the long list of crimes Walker's in the frame for. Only Milo's testimony can save him from a death sentence, but Milo's got problems of his own in the shape of sultry lawyer Molly McBride. Hurtling from the plains of Texas to the desert town of Las Vegas, from the freezing Montana mountains to the Gulf of Mexico and the final bloody showdown, The Final Country is a non-stop roller-coaster ride that will leave you breathless.
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Milo Milodragovitch is back in Texas, running the bar of his dreams. His relationship with his woman is on the rocks, especially since he had an overnight fling with Molly McBride. Now, Mollys persuaded Milo to help her search for and bring to justice the lowlife who raped and murdered her sister. What appears to be a simple stakeout turns hideously violent when its discovered that Mollys prey is no ordinary miscreant, but a whirlwind of brutality with major political connections. Soon Milo is calling on connections of his own in a plot that takes him from sweaty, dusty Mexico to the subzero mountains of Montana.Review:
It's been too long since James Crumley's last Milo Milodragovitch adventure, but the wait was worth it. The Final Country is a fully satisfying read with plenty of action, even more sex, and superb characterization.
"A chase after money and revenge had brought me to Texas, and a woman had kept me here," Milo explains. But trying to salvage a love affair, keep his PI business going, and run a tavern (whose real business is laundering drug money) hasn't kept trouble from following Milo--or maybe it's the other way around. When a man kills a drug dealer right in front of him, Milo can't help but track the shooter down, if only to keep the Texas cops from railroading him into the death chamber. Soon one beautiful woman frames Milo for the murder of a well- connected Texan, and another one with ties to both killings disappears, setting up the intricately plotted action of this fast-paced thriller.
Crumley's narrative gifts and poetic talents set this crazy-funny mystery apart. Milo is a consistently interesting protagonist, especially here, as Crumley depicts him in the fullness of middle age, a hard-boiled, bruised, and battered dick who, despite all evidence to the contrary, still believes in the redemptive powers of love--not to mention liquor, cocaine, and sex. Texas may not be Milo's natural habitat, but it's a big enough backdrop for his unique talents, and for Crumley's, too. --Jane Adams
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