This book turns on revenge. Milo Milodragovitch is after the man who stole his inheritance. C.W. Sughrue is after the guys who shot him and left him wounded outside a bar. The personalities of this unholy pair demand Old Testament styled punishment.
So begins a crimson swathe surging from Seattle to Texas to Mexico as Milo looks for his money, and Sughrue for the men who hurt him.
"Anybody who speaks badly of revenge ain't never lost nothing important" says Sughrue early in the novel. As the body count mounts, Crumley weaves a tale that blends Hollywood movie producers, Mexican drug lords, good cops, bad cops, and a string of violent men (as well as similarly violent women) while keeping the issue of revenge front and center, simmering.
Crumley's point of view bounces between Milo and Sughrue with each taking a first person turn spinning the yarn. In less capable hands, there'd be a clunky shift as the story passes one to the other. Crumley pulls it off seamlessly.
Bordersnakes is a fine novel. It's challenging, violence- filled and slightly philosophic without being preachy. It deserves a spot on your shelf.
I like Crumley's work as a rule, but I have to admit this one was very hard to follow. Crumley admitted he never seemed to gain a big audience in this country (his own), and I think that's because while the plots are generally good, it is very, very hard to pull for Milo or CW because they take so many drugs it just makes them less likeable. That's just my two cents.