Books In Brief -- Crime

June 01, 2008|By Sarah Weinman | Sarah Weinman,special to the sun

The Dawn Patrol

By Don Winslow

In the Light of You

By Nathan Singer

Bleak House Books / 238 pages / $25

Singer's novels are hard to classify and sometimes tough to take. In the Light of You keeps the brutally dark feel of his earlier work but finally finds a working balance of tone and narrative so that its points about the dangers of blind hatred and following orders come through that much more tangibly. Singer makes horrifyingly clear how easy it would be for a teenage boy like 16-year-old Mikal Fanon, with a middle-class background turned awry, to find comfort in the welcoming arms of a neo-Nazi skinhead group. The rise and fall of his relationships with enigmatic leader Richard and Richard's lost-girl lover Sherry, as well as the competing attention from black activist Niani Shange, illustrate the broad spectrum of nuance that puts the lie to violence in the name of a single race. This is one novel where the age that comes seems so wrong and yet must be documented.

Sarah Weinman reviews crime fiction every month for The Sun. Visit her at

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