David Fulmer — The Dying Crapshooter’s Blues
A roscoe coughs. A blonde slumps over, dead as Vaudeville
I’m thinking someone told author David Fulmer the story of Christ, then he had a dream about it—with facts, anecdotes and images con?ated in dreamlike fashion in 1920s Atlanta, complete with cops, robbers and luscious dames.
This is not to say The Dying Crapshooter’s Blues is surreal (or religious). On the contrary, it’s a straightforward, well-written, hard-nosed crime drama that Fulmer sometimes pushes to the brink of believability, leaving a reader with no idea how protagonist Joe Rose might escape his latest jam. Rose must solve a high-pro?le heist for which he’s been framed, and for which his friends, both white and black, are being murdered.
Rose is of mixed race, and he moves freely between the racial worlds of Prohibition-era Atlanta. It’s a great advantage for solving crimes—and crime writing.
The novel has dual endings. The ?rst seems true to the characters. The second, six lines later, smacks of editorial intervention. Even so, the book vividly brings to life an Atlanta long gone—and characters to die for.