Mean Business on North Ganson Street is one of the best books I’ve read this year, and I read two to three books a week. The author, S. Craig Zahler, wrote a western (A Congregation of Jackals) several years back that I thought was top notch so I figured his latest, a mystery, would be good. Jules Bettinger is a by-the-book detective in Arizona who ticks off a politician and then has to move with his family to Missouri to be a detective in one of the worst crime-ridden cities in America. He makes sure that he installs his family in a nearby city so they won’t be around so much murder and rape. Then he goes about trying to be the same straight arrow detective he was before. He feels that a lot of the other detectives, including his new partner, either do not take their jobs seriously enough or are corrupt, but he soon finds out that everything is not simply right or wrong, black or white. When he hears what has happened prior to his arrival, some things start making sense. War is being fought on the streets of the city. When the whole police department is targeted with cops being ambushed and executed right and left, and his own family is targeted, Detective Bettinger realizes that unusual circumstances call for unusual justice. Extremely violent, stellar fiction.