When Down & Out Books announced they’d be releasing Michael Pool’s Texas Two-Step, crime fiction friends of mine were quite excited as they loved his 2015 release Debt Crusher on All Due Respect Books. Even though I hadn’t read Debt Crusher, I am a fanboy of All Due Respect Books, so I began to get excited about Texas Two-Step.
Michael Pool’s Texas Two-Step is about Coop and Davis, two aging pot dealers, – and aging is a misnomer here as they might be in their early 30s – trying to make that one last deal before getting out the business. I had trouble getting into Texas Two-Step especially with the relationship between one of the dealers and his girlfriend. Also, I haven’t been much of a fan of police procedurals, so I had to readjust my view as Pool alternates chapters of Texas Two-Step between the criminals and a Texas Ranger who is chasing them. No worries, Texas Two-Step is NOT a police procedural; it’s dark and grimy just the way I like it.
With Texas Two-Step, Michael Pool has written a smash and grab bleak novel that has the reader oddly rooting for both the cop and the crooks. The wildcard in Texas Two-Step is Sancho, a white party boy and drug dealer in Texas. Sancho is a trip and worthy of his own book. Follow Coop and Davis as they try to work with the unpredictable Sancho and drift towards the inevitable problems of having a dumbass as a friend and drug dealer. Texas Two-Step might not be the perfect novel, but damn it is better than most.