Penzler Pick, May 2000: This first novel reads like an adrenaline rush. From the first page, the reader will inhale this story of a gun run from Washington, D.C., to New York, exhaling 288 pages later.
Burdon Lane is not a man to admire. He makes his living transporting guns into those areas of the city where the authorities turn a blind eye to residents shooting each other with some regularity. The purpose of his latest run to Harlem is to arm one gang against another. What Burdon does not know is that the government has a man, maybe more than one, inside the run. What the authorities don't know is that someone has a plan of his own. Just as the deal is about to go down, Lane's own people start shooting each other, the gun merchants begin killing their own, and men in police uniforms who are obviously not police show up. Suddenly a prominent civil rights leader marching in a parade nearby is assassinated. When all the shooting stops, Lane finds himself in possession of $2 million intended for the purchase of the guns. He has no idea what has just happened. All he knows is that he must run.
This, then, is the story of a run within a run, and it's one of the most original first novels to come along in a while. Winter has an extraordinary voice, but he also has an underlying message about our gun culture. It is not just about gangsters selling guns; it is about who sells, who buys, and, ultimately, who cares and who doesn't. --Otto Penzler