The Magazine

Addicted to Murder

Crime in the realm of recovery and redemption.

Jul 2, 2012, Vol. 17, No. 40 • By EVE TUSHNET
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The most important confrontation of the book’s climax is between Randy and someone he hurt a long time ago, someone who, in criminal-investigation terms, is totally unrelated to the book’s plot or Terry’s death. But if the confrontation is less than peripheral to Randy’s investigation, it’s central to his choice between recovery and relapse—and that choice starts the book and throbs as a heartbeat on almost every page.

In one way, The Next Right Thing departs from the classic noir mentality. Sure, it features corruption, hypocrisy, guys who are tough but not too hard, and sleazy danger under the palm trees. But unlike books in which finding out whodunit merely returns us to the sordid status-quo ante, The Next Right Thing isn’t cynical about the power of truth.


Eve Tushnet is a writer in Washington.