Queenpin is so good! So very good. The unnamed narrator is a girl from a good Christian family. She was raised right, but all she wants is bad. Her hardworking dad gets her job at Tee Hee, a bar on his delivery route. She spends her mornings in accounting class, her afternoons keeping Tee Hee's books, and her evenings keeping house. She doesn't think twice when her bosses ask her to "cook the books." She knows her bosses aren't the real bosses and that this won't probably end well, but she's willing to go along for the ride.
When Gloria Denton walks into Tee Hee, the narrator sees everything she never knew she wanted. Gloria is a legend in the criminal world and everything our girl wants to be. Gloria sees something in our girl and offers her a chance at a different life, one with big risks and even bigger rewards. Our girl knows she should feel guilty but she doesn't, not really. She loves her new life. All she has to do is not make any mistakes, like falling for the wrong guy.
When she meets him she falls hard. What's crazy is that she knows he's bad news from the beginning. He's a gambler who never knows when to walk away from the table. He's so bad for her, and yet so good. She can't walk away.
It is usually pretty easy to explain why a book doesn't work for me. It is much harder to explain a book that's great. This is the fourth of Megan's Abbott's modern noir stories that I've read and they have ranged from good to great. Queenpin was great. Abbott has a way of capturing voice and setting a scene. Throw in a great plot and there is not much more a girl can ask for.
The only thing sad about finishing Queenpin is that I'm running out of Megan Abbott books to read.