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Train by Pete Dexter
"Train" is the nickname for Lionel Walk, an 18-year old caddie at a prestigious Los Angeles country club in 1953 where he meets police detective Miller Packard. Not only a top golfer, Packard can be a brutal and emotionally distant man. He's investigating the murder of a man and rape of his wife during a yacht robbery committed by Train's caddie superintendent. Train is always in the wrong place at the wrong time, and one misfortune after another befalls him. Packard and Train become partners in high stakes golf matches as the plot twists and turns with everyone taking both outrageous risks and taking advantage of whomever they can. Train is another noir thriller from Pete Dexter and has received high praise from most reviewers. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch says, "With noir atmospherics and a glib, often comic voice that belies the most serious intentions, Dexter's spectacular, explosive new novel Train explores both race and sexuality in post-World War II America in unexpected ways."