Literary Orphans

Quickshot Review: Gunmetal Blue by Joseph G. Peterson


Gunmetal Blue by Joseph G. Peterson is not what you think it is. While it reads like classic crime noir, has the rhythm and feel of noir, and bears a title that makes you think it’s noir, it’s not. Not really.

The truth is… Gunmetal Blue is so much more. It’s an exploration of grief, explored through the eyes of wannabe private eye Art Topp. It’s also a look at the layers of faulty memories we surround ourselves with and the stories we tell to give ourselves purpose. Gunmetal Blue is as much about crime as it is about the visions of the past we cultivate that make us feel a little less empty inside. It’s dark, surreal, and wickedly absurd, and it’s a beautifully cognizant examination of gun violence in America.

The subject matter may sound heavy, but author Joseph G. Peterson writes with such addicting and effortless prose, that it’s easy to get lost in this book. Events are circular, taking place in the past and present simultaneously, and the facts of Art Topp’s life get bundled up with the rose-colored hue of nostalgia he carries with him, which only adds to the poetic language. Peterson weaves a complicated examination of his protagonist’s life, but his prose is so rhythmic and soothing that it comes across as an easy feat.

Gunmetal Blue is definitely the crime book we’ve been missing, one that aims to elevate the genre. It’s currently available in print or eBook format on Amazon. For more information about Gunmetal Blue, visit the publisher at


Background photo by Jo Naylor.