Milwaukee Noir by Tim Hennessy (editor)
English | 2019 | Mystery/Thriller | ePUB |3.5 Mb
Milwaukee Noir : Akashic Books continues its award-winning series of original noir anthologies, launched in 2004 with Brooklyn Noir. Each book comprises all new stories, each one set in a distinct neighborhood or location within the respective city.
Presently, Milwaukee is going through a renaissance—abandoned factories being converted to condos, craft breweries and distilleries pushing out corner taverns—yet at the same time it is among the most segregated and impoverished big cities in the country. The gentrification of neighborhoods outside of downtown bear the impact of twentieth-century redlining efforts, forcing residents out due to housing demand, adding fuel to the affordable-housing crisis. Such an environment and atmosphere make excellent fodder for noir fiction…
The book you’re holding is the first of its kind—a short fiction collection about Milwaukee, by writers who’ve experienced life here. The crime/noir genre at its best can be one of the purest forms of social commentary. I’ve gathered contributors who can tell not just a fine story, but who can write about the struggles and resilience of the people who live here…I’m honored to compile a body of work that represents what I love, and fear, about Milwaukee.
“The cement floors of those old garages slope down toward the hole to drain, and as I backed away from that rattling cage, I trusted the slant of that floor to lead me back down where I belonged.
Once I was in the pipeline again, I wrestled the heavy lid back into place over my head. But Diego and JJ’s lights were nowhere around.
“You guys!” I hissed, panicking. Then off to my left, half a block away, they turned on their lights and burst out laughing.
“Come on!” they called out, waving.
When I reached them, Diego said, “What the hell was that?” But I have to admit I just shoved them forward. I had to get out of there.
* * *
JJ’s contact, Tommy, was having a party that night, some weird situation in a house near campus where everyone was wearing pajamas for no reason I could figure out. They were all older than us, in college, but they looked like little kids cleaned up for bed, holding their red Solos to their faces like sippy cups. JJ pointed at Tommy’s bunny slippers and said, “Should I read you a fuckin’ story, man?”
“You smell like swamp,” Tommy responded, but once we took off our boots and coats, he let us in.
We went upstairs to his bedroom, where we traded him what we’d found for a bag of pills and forty dollars. None of us had the right ID to pawn things.
“You look kinda spooked, Lucy,” Tommy said to me. He had shaggy hair and a slanting, tweaked-out smile that I liked but knew not to trust.
“She’s fine,” JJ said.
“She’s always fine.” Diego threw a hamhock arm over my shoulders. I felt like a can being crushed in his armpit, but I waited a few secs before pulling away.”