Army CID officer Mick Hardin is back home on leave, recovering from an IED attack when a body is found in the center of town. It’s a local heroin dealer, and the city police see it as an occupational hazard. But when his mother asks Mick to take a look, it seems there’s more to the killing. Suddenly he’s getting shot at himself.
A dark, pacy crime novel about revenge and the surprised hidden below the suface of a town, Shifty’s Boys is a tour de force that confirms Mick Hardin as the most appealing new investigator in fiction.
“How can it be that after just two of Chris Offutt’s Mick Hardin novels I love a bunch of the characters like they were my own family? Here’s hoping Hardin rides for a good long while.”
"Offutt has fashioned a mystery plot that’s fast-paced, efficiently plotted, atmospheric, and compelling, but what again distinguishes the book is the author’s command of and affection for the setting and the people who live there. Come for the thriller, by all means; it delivers nicely. But stay for, and linger in, the marvelous incidentals and atmospherics."
—Starred review from Kirkus
“This is country noir at its most powerful, combining cracking action with crystalline portraits of rough-hewn but savvy characters tragically forced to become "retribution killers" to stop yet another cycle of violence.”
—Starred review from Booklist
"In elegant, economical prose, Shifty’s Boys is an accomplished addition to the ranks of country noir."
—Val McDermid, author of 1979
"Readers will appreciate the novel’s respectful portrayal of the contemporary South as they ride along with Mick on his fair-minded, almost spiritual quest to root out the truth."
“A fantastic and compelling new crime novel series…rendered with great page-turning style and thrilling action, infused with insight and wisdom, humanity and affection. I eagerly await the next Mick Hardin!”
—Jonathan Ames, author of A Man Named Doll
"Offutt follows the beautifully written The Killing Hills with another dark mystery featuring Mick Hardin. Fans of the author’s poetic writing, with moments of sly humor, will welcome this second compelling story of family, community, and grief"
—Lesa Holstine, Library Journal
"A tale of vengeance that asks difficult questions about the nature and value of honor, every line delivered with the relentless efficiency of a wolf stripping meat from a bone. More Mick, please."
—Christopher J. Yates, author of Grist Mill Road
Other books by Chris Offutt