"One Simple Thingis fit to burst with grit, atmosphere, pathos and suspense. With his expertly paced second novel, Mr. Read invites comparisons to the crime masters of the mid-twentieth century--guys like Chandler, and Thompson, and Willeford."―Jonathan Evison
"In Warren Read's stories, setting is a character, stealthy, lush, and full of hidden depths. The very air has texture, holding the characters tight as their small town worlds unfold. A twisting, twisted tale full of well-developed characters and dense setting, One Simple Thing is a story that will hold you in its grip until the satisfying end." ―Jessica Barksdale Inclán, author of The Burning Hour and When We Almost Drowned
"One Simple Thing is anything but simple. This tense, layered story brings us into the world of hardscrabble folks who are fighting and often failing to get by. Opening on a boy's heart-wrenching journey through the implosion of his family, One Simple Thing flowers into a captivating crime mystery. While tempting to compare Warren Read to classic crime writers, he also vividly chronicles lives lived on the margins, like writers such as Larry Brown or Willy Vlautin." ―Thomas Kohnstamm, author of Lake City
"In One Simple Thing, Warren Read intertwines a coming-of-age story with Northwest noir and catapults both into satisfying new territory. Love takes on many guises: loyalty, jealousy, lust, pure folly, absolute treachery. And the novel doesn't shy from detailing brutal echoes of―young boy is left to navigate through the broken glass of his family; a fleeing woman finds an uncertain haven with a backwoods criminal; an aging sheriff tracks a killer while managing his own wild, dementia-struck brother. Lost souls abound and cause trouble, yet Read writes poignantly and sympathetically of isolation and desire, of the strange twists and talents that arise when what the world offers is not enough. Fans of Richard Ford will find much to appreciate and cheer in this lucid and beautifully written novel."―Adrianne Harun, author of A Man Came Out of a Door in the Mountain
"Disguised as a tense crime story set in the sparse landscape of the American West, Warren Read's One Simple Thing is really a probing evocation of loneliness and the ways it skews the search for meaningful relationships. Read writes dialogue as if it were an industrial diamond, sharp and faceted and capable of cutting through granite. Rodney and Otis are as original a set of partners-in-crime as you'll find in American fiction, and Nadine is trying so hard not to be disappointed in men that she latches onto despair and convinces herself it is hope."―Kent Meyers, bestseling author of Twisted Tree and The Work of Wolves
When his father leaves town, twelve-year-old Rodney Culver’s mother takes up with Otis Dell, a fry cook at the local diner—and a well-known petty thief. While Rodney resists the man’s influence at first, Otis soon draws the boy into his small-time criminal world. After a simple heist goes violently wrong, Rodney becomes an unwitting fugitive, swept away from his mother to the primitive mountain sanctuary of the mysterious Lester Fanning. But with Lester’s skeptical lady friend in the way, and the town sheriff grappling with a curiously placed corpse, what once seemed like an easy plan quickly devolves into a knot of complications.