The Twenty-Year Death, by Ariel s. Winter

Like any writer who seems to burst up fully formed from out of nowhere, Ariel S. Winter has been scribbling away in obscurity for over a decade. His three-novels-in-one, The Twenty-Year Death, doesn't show the signs of toil-it seems nearly flawless and completely effortless, as all the best art does. While the book is composed of pastiches of Georges Simenon, Raymond Chandler, and Jim Thompson, the whole of The Twenty-Year Death is greater than the three parts. Winter would have written "Best New Fiction Book" with any one of the volumes, but the combination of the three makes such a profound point about time, consequences, and style that we award him first, second, and third place.

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