Tom Epperson's "The Kind One", set in Depression-era Los Angeles of the 1930s, is a well written and fast-paced gangster tale with heart. The main character is Danny, literally and figuratively a "lost soul". Having no memory because of an unspecified accident, Danny finds himself consorting with killers and thugs and molls, and on the payroll of a psychotic crime boss. The brutality of his criminal companions is a stark contrast to Danny's humaneness and decency - he saves an abused and neglected little girl, he's chivalrous to the woman who beguiles him, the beautiful Darla, he's even loyal to his monstrous boss. The action in this book keeps our interest piqued while its non-action - Danny's melancholy dreaminess and search of self - engage our empathy. There is an elegant symmetry to the surprise ending of this story. It's an altogether pleasurable read.