I'm going to try to stick to more theme-days this month, simply because it makes it a little easier to plans things out for me, so Thursday shall here-by be THUG THURSDAYS, celebrating some of my favorites in crime fiction from the past year (either new released or new to me).
Let's start with what is easily one of the best books of the year, Darwyn Cooke's graphic novel adaptation of Richard Stark's The Hunter.
If not the best of Stark's Parker books, it easily the most adapted, being made into films such as Point Blank and Payback, and many others that are not official, it is a simple story. After a big heist, Parker's partner and wife attempt to kill him and run off with the money. Living through the attempt, Parker slowly recovers, and then comes back looking for his money...and if he gets a little revenge along the way, so be it.
The best choice made with this adaptation is that they kept the setting in the sixties, which plays to Cooke's artistic strengths and the book is stunning to look at. Eschewing full-color to work in a muted palate of blacks and blues conveying the mood of cold dread throughout the whole book. Take a look at this preview of the fist 20 pages of the book to see how he conveys the silent ruthlessness of Parker, moving forward like a shark looking for his money.
I really can't praise this book enough and others have done it much better this year (and probably in the next few weeks since it is sure to end up on every year-end best-of list), so simply if you enjoyed the genre of crime books/comics this is an essential.