Youngblood says he knows someone who can get me a gun, a white boy named Paul, a gambler, a loser, one of them who's always selling something. I tell Youngblood I'll give him twenty to set something up. Youngblood calls the guy, and the guy says he has a little .25 auto he wants a hundred bucks for. That's fine, I say. I have three hundred hidden in my room. It's supposed to be Mexico money, but there isn't going to be any Mexico if Leon puts a bullet in me.
-- From "Apocrypha" by Richard Lange in Best American Mystery Stories 2015
This one puts you smack dab on skid row. As real as it gets. Noir at its heart-wrenching best. The main character a loser you can't help but root for. 5/5 stars.