Black Mountain by Laird Barron [7/10]

Once I inform you that “Black Mountain” is dark and hardboiled noir, I trust you’ll self select. If you’re a fan of Ellroy or his peers, you’ll find plenty to like here. The second instalment of the adventures of Isaiah Coleridge, a huge, part-Maori ex-mob enforcer now hanging out his PI shingle in the Hudson Valley, a headless mobster starts off proceedings, and the action grows heavier by the chapter, involving a semi-mythical killer and corporate connections. Coleridge has a philosophical bent and Laird Barron’s writing veers towards James-Lee-Burke-style lyricism, atmospheric to my ear. The dialogue is snappy and mostly effective. “Black Mountain” is a smooth ride through well-traveled genre terrain and if that’s your thing, it’ll while away some evenings.

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