I had an educated guess as to how A Dangerous Man would bring Huston’s Hank Thompson trilogy to full circle: some naif would bumble into Hank’s way in much the same way Hank stumbled into some nasty heavies in Caught Stealing; Hank would understimate the noob as he himself was once underestimated. Hank might manage to turn the tables on his young adversary, but I thought it was more likely that Huston would bring the curtain down on Hank for good, giving A Dangerous Man‘s title the same sort of twisty double-meaning that Caught Stealing had.
This was almost completely wrong. Huston is not a writer who chooses the easy, predictable path. He does revisit aspects of the previous books: some of the survivors of the previous novels make appearances, Hank’s ambivalent passion for baseball reasserts itself, and the central macguffin of the series continues to haunt Hank in surprising ways.
As I’ve come to expect from Huston, it’s hard to say whether funny or grim dominates; it’s both, not just alternately but sometimes simultaneously. It made me laugh out loud at least once, and probably made me cringe, too.
I still think Six Bad Things is the weakest of the three books, but this novel places it squarely in its context as a middle act. A Dangerous Man is pretty much a non-stop adrenaline surge.
needs more demons? noway.