Jordan Harper takes his readers from desert highways to backwoods bars and beyond. Here crime is king and these ballads of bad-ass sing about lives full of dead ends, blown deals and settled scores. Some of them have been played before, others are as yet unsung, but all are remarkable and deserve to be heard.
There is something deliciously poetic in Jordan Harper's gritty prose. Like being hit with brass knuckles while your sweetheart slips you the tongue, his words draw you in, smack you hard and leave you breathless.
You can pick any one of the stylish tales and I'll be more than happy to heap on some praise on it. ‘Plan C’ is a brilliant and brutal heads up on how things can go real bad, real quick; while ‘Heart Check’ captures the kill or be killed of the prison yard better than anything I have previously read. But I’ll take ‘Red Hair and Black Leather’ as my favorite, because when it comes down to it I’m just an old romantic and any that story starts with the line, “She had an ass like a heart turned upside down and cut in half,” automatically get’s my vote.
This review first appeared in my column at Out Of The Gutter Online. Since then two things have happened, firstly, my opinion hasn’t changed; ‘American Death Songs’ is still the best short story collection I have read this year and secondly, the opening story, ‘Midnight Rider’ has now been made into a short film starring Ryan “Opie” Hurst and if that don’t float you’re boat, you’re in the wrong place, pilgrim.