Indie Next ListJanuary 2014
I have always been a fan of dystopian novels, but when I picked up Sternbergh's novel I was unprepared for the post-dirty bomb New York that awaited me. This book is a sucker punch, plain and simple. Gritty, taut, and compelling, Shovel Ready paints a grim and savage portrait of a future where the rich have quite literally checked out and the rest of New York is treading water in the ashes of a once-great city. A fantastic read! -- Raymond Lawrason, Copperfield's Books, Sebastopol, CA
The futuristic hardboiled noir that Lauren Beukes calls "sharp as a paper-cut" about a garbage man turned kill-for-hire.
Spademan used to be a garbage man. That was before the dirty bomb hit Times Square, before his wife was killed, and before the city became a blown-out shell of its former self.
Now he's a hitman.
In a near-future New York City split between those who are wealthy enough to "tap in" to a sophisticated virtual reality, and those who are left to fend for themselves in the ravaged streets, Spademan chose the streets. His new job is not that different from his old one: waste disposal is waste disposal. He doesn't ask questions, he works quickly, and he's handy with a box cutter. But when his latest client hires him to kill the daughter of a powerful evangelist, his unadorned life is upended: his mark has a shocking secret and his client has a sordid agenda far beyond a simple kill. Spademan must navigate between these two worlds--the wasteland reality and the slick fantasy--to finish his job, clear his conscience, and make sure he's not the one who winds up in the ground.
Adam Sternbergh has written a dynamite debut: gritty, violent, funny, riveting, tender, and brilliant.
"From the Hardcover edition."