Nine Toes In The Grave is “A Hard Luck Novella” by Eric Beetner. I have seen Beetner’s previous novel Rumrunners on more then one “Best of 2015” list. This, and with the folks over at All Due Respect sending me a copy of Nine Toes In The Grave, put this book to the top of my “To Read” list. This book is short, at just over 100 pages, but packs quite a story.
Beetner starts this story with a bit of a “The Postman Always Rings Twice” vibe. Our protagonist Reese is working at a greesy spoon as a short order cook. He is having an affair with the owner’s wife to start his downward spiral of bad luck. She tries to convince him to kill her husband so she will inherit the restaurant. Reese has always done the right thing and been a good guy and refuses to do this. The wife kills her husband anyway and looks to frame Reese. Reese figures his best bet is to run for it.
Reese makes it 50 miles to the next county and hits up a bar. Out of money and nowhere to go, Reese meets two guys willing to pay him $500 for a repo job on a car. It seems like easy money and Reese agrees to do it. His luck does not get any better is all I have to say.
Beetner tells a good story and it is well written. I will be looking for more from Beetner in the future. If you want to read some good modern pulp, Beetner is as good a place to start as any.
You can pick up a copy of this book and others from All Due Respect here: