Title: The Bayou Trilogy: Under the Bright Lights, Muscle for the Wing, and The Ones You Do
Author: Daniel Woodrell
Publisher: Mulholland Books
Publication Date: April 28, 2011
Paperback: 496 pages
Genre: Fiction, Suspense, Thriller
In the parish of St. Bruno, sex is easy, corruption festers, and double-dealing is a way of life. Rene Shade is an uncompromising detective swimming in a sea of filth.
As Shade takes on hit men, porn kings, a gang of ex-cons, and the ghosts of his own checkered past, Woodrell’s three seminal novels pit long-entrenched criminals against the hard line of the law, brother against brother, and two vastly different sons against a long-absent father.
The Bayou Trilogy by Daniel Woodrell contains three books; Under the Bright Lights, Muscle For the Wing, and The Ones You Do, which comprise an electric trilogy the reader will not be able to put down. Woodrell takes the reader deep into the Parish of St. Bruno, where Detective Rene Shade struggles against a morass of corruption and with his moral compass throughout this trilogy, making him immediately likeable and identifiable, especially as he relates to his father and brothers. Woodrell’s characters are intense and vividly detailed, and through his use of expertly crafted atmospheric prose, it does not take the reader much imagination to believe they have been transported to St. Bruno. Each of the three stories brings about a progression in Detective Rene Shade and I will not spoil the book by describing the events of the novels, rather it is best the reader uncover each layer as Woodrell intended. Rarely do I come across a writer who can so deftly create an atmosphere that I believe I know, even though I have never been to any place even remotely resembling St. Bruno. Woodrell is a gifted and extremely talented storyteller who quickly draws the reader into the story and into the lives of the characters, often writing about some of the worst things humanity has to offer and yet also some of the best. The Bayou Trilogy was a book I was unable to set down, so engrossed in the plot and in feverishly reading to discover what was going to happen next. I would recommend The Bayou Trilogy to any reader who enjoys dark, seedy, and exceptionally well-written crime fiction.
Five of Daniel Woodrell’s eight novels were selected as New York Times Notable Books of the Year. A recipient of the PEN West Award, Woodrell lives in the Ozarks near the Arkansas line with his wife, Katie Estill.
I received a complimentary ARC of The Bayou Trilogy by Daniel Woodrell from Mulholland Books to offer my honest review of the book. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of aforementioned book.