The Long Drunk by Eric Coyote is classified as an "ultra noir" novel. In case you aren't sure what that means, other books that would be included in that genre are The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson and The Black Dahlia by James Ellroy. If something fits under this tag, it is supposed to be gritty, dark, and probably a bit too descriptive ;)
Personally, mystery novels aren't my usual fare. That said, I did thoroughly enjoy this book. It does what I think ultra noir is supposed to do - make you simultaneously love and loathe the main character(s). The reader will get pretty graphic insight into the life of the homeless - more specifically, the homeless in Venice Beach, California - as he or she follows the point of view of Murphy. This football star-turned-alcoholic bum is possibly one of the most interesting main characters I've ever seen in a murder mystery, even the ultra noir type.
The Long Drunk is a quick read, at times funny and at times even a bit heart-wrenching. Make sure to go into it with the knowledge that it's the first installment of a trilogy, though, because otherwise at the end you may be saying, "But what else is there?!" Because that's my only "complaint" about this book - "complaint" in quotations because I'm guessing I won't be complaining when the second installment comes out - the ending does feel a bit rushed and not-quite-wrapped-up. 3.5/5 stars.
Please note that while I received a copy of this e-book for free from the author, this review absolutely represents my unbiased opinion of the novel. You can buy the e-book for $2.99 at Amazon and it's honestly worth every penny of that amount :)
"'Getting drunk, partying hard,' Hot Rod said. There was a wistfulness in his voice, a touch of nostalgia for the good old days when getting drunk and partying hard was fun, not pathetic."
"'While it is true alcohol destroys, it also gives life. To ideas, new worlds, art, and affairs of the heart, yet the moral elite running our country refuse to acknowledge this fact.'"
"'One thing I've learned as a private investigator is when you try too hard to make something right, you're sure to fuck shit up.'"
"'That's how you grieve, Chief, by celebrating life.'"