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John Ridley: hard-boiled
photo: Susan Maljin
John Ridley: hard-boiled

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The Drift
By John Ridley
Knopf, 276 pp., $24
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In the end, Corina remains a cipher, despite the missives Brain Nigger Charlie has to go on. "It's easy not to trust when a woman's involved," a railway investigator tells Charlie: old-school words from an old-style P.I. That The Drift's unholy grail turns out to be of less import than the journey to find it is not nothing new. Yet Ridley gives that idea the once-over with startling vigor and a brutal, callused poetry. With The Drift, Ridley unfetters a low-grade fury.

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