The Carrion Birds: A Novel

Front Cover
HarperCollins, Apr 16, 2013 - Fiction - 288 pages
10 Reviews

Set in a small town in the Southwest, a soulful work of literary noir rife with vengeance and contrition from a fresh voice in fiction—the author of the highly acclaimed The Terror of Living

Life hasn't worked out the way Ray Lamar planned. A widower who's made some tragic mistakes, he's got one good thing going for him: he's calm and efficient under pressure, usually with a gun in his hand. A useful skill to have when you're paid to hurt people who stand in your boss's way.

But Ray isn't sure he wants to be that man anymore. He wants to go home and see the son he hopes will recognize him. He wants to make a new life far from the violence of the last ten years, and he believes that one last job will take him there. A job that should be simple, easy, clean.

Ray knows there's no such thing as easy, and sure enough, the first day ends in a catastrophic mess. Now the runners who have always moved quietly through this desert town on the Mexican border want answers. And revenge. Short on time, with no one to trust but himself, Ray must come up with a plan, or else Coronado, New Mexico's lady sheriff will have a vicious bloodbath on her hands.

Set in a town once rich with oil, now forgotten and struggling, The Carrion Birds is filled with refreshingly realistic and vulnerable characters. With its masterfully orchestrated suspense and unexpected bursts of lyricism, this is a remarkably unsettling and indelible work in the tradition of Cormac McCarthy, Elmore Leonard, and Dennis Lehane.

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Review: The Carrion Birds

User Review  - Steve - Goodreads

Strong characterization and vivid description of life lives caught up in the drug wars along the US-Mexican border. I was disappointed the characters didn't learn more from their experiences. Similar to McCarthy's "No Country for Old Men" without the lessons on life in the end. Read full review

Review: The Carrion Birds

User Review  - Goodreads

Strong characterization and vivid description of life lives caught up in the drug wars along the US-Mexican border. I was disappointed the characters didn't learn more from their experiences. Similar to McCarthy's "No Country for Old Men" without the lessons on life in the end. Read full review

All 2 reviews »

About the author (2013)

Urban Waite is the author of The Terror of Living, named one of Esquire's Ten Best Books of 2011. His short fiction has appeared in the Best of the West 2009 anthology, the Southern Review, and other journals. He has degrees from the University of Washington, Western Washington University, and Emerson College. He lives in Seattle with his wife.

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