A sharp and funny addition to Daniel Woodrell’s collection of “country noir” novels, featuring anti-hero Sammy Barlach and Jamalee Merridew, her hair tomato red with rage and ambition. In the Ozarks, what you are is where you are born. If you’re born in Venus Holler, you’re not much. For Jamalee Merridew, Venus Holler just won’t cut it. Jamalee sees her brother Jason, blessed with drop-dead gorgeous looks and the local object of female obsession, as her ticket out of town. But Jason may just be gay, and in the hills and hollows of the Ozarks that is the most dangerous and courageous thing a man could be. Enter Sammy Barlach, a loser ex-con passing through a tired nowhere on the way to a fresher nowhere. Jamalee thinks Sammy is just the kind of muscle she and Jason need.