Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Yellow Medicine (Billy Lafitte, #1)” as Want to Read:
Yellow Medicine (Billy Lafitte, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Yellow Medicine (Billy Lafitte #1)

3.64  ·  Rating Details  ·  412 Ratings  ·  66 Reviews
Deputy Billy Lafitte is not unfamiliar with the law—he just prefers to enforce it, rather than abide by it. But his rule-bending and bribe-taking have gotten him kicked off the force in Gulfport, Mississippi, and he’s been given a second chance—in the desolate, Siberian wastelands of rural Minnesota. Now Billy’s only got the local girls and local booze to keep him company. ...more
Kindle Edition, 260 pages
Published April 25th 2011 (first published April 1st 2008)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Yellow Medicine, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Yellow Medicine

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 767)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
James Thane
Jun 01, 2013 James Thane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-fiction, noir
Sheriff's deputy Billy Lafitte sounds like a guy who might have stepped straight out of one of Jim Thompson's darker novels. (As though he had any light ones.)

Lafitte was a policeman in Gulfport, Mississippi, but because of his antics in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, he was booted off the force. His wife divorced him and took custody of their two kids, but Billy's now ex-brother-in-law, the sheriff of Yellow Medicine County in rural Minnesota, takes pity on Billy and hires him on as a deputy.

Dec 22, 2011 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Billy Lafitte is a bad man. Flawed, self-destructive, corrupt, larcenous, mean. Yes, Billy Lafitte is a very bad man. However, in flawless genre form, Lafitte is also loyal and he gets the job done and he's the perfect noir hero. What is a noir hero? Here:

“The noir hero is a knight in blood caked armor. He's dirty and he does his best to deny the fact that he's a hero the whole time.” - Frank Miller

First things first. If you’re going to get into the ring with Anthony Neil Smith, know going in th
Jun 25, 2012 Josh rated it liked it
Shelves: own, kindle, read_2012
Psychobilly band member Drew is the catalyst for carnage that kicks starts the violent course of events portrayed in ‘Yellow Medicine’. After enlisting the services of sometime lover/favour-taker Lafitte to look into the brutal branding of her boyfriend by some harden underworld types, Drew’s’ world rains down all kinds of hell with Lafitte, himself the storm bringer.

A classic bad cop in a small town, Billy Lafitte has all the makings of a pulp culture hero – from his abuse of power, handlebar
Mar 31, 2015 Melanie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: discarded
I liked Psychosomatic quite a bit so I figured I'd try reading more ANS.

Yellow Medicine is just not where it's at, however. I could get into the story. I had no problem following the plot. And Smith writes excellent action and graphic but intense violence. Hell, I don't even mind violence.

I just can't stand Billy Lafitte. At all. I don't mind my "not very good" heroes by any means, in fact, I tend to skew towards the antis, but Billy is just a prick. That's it. And most of the people around him
Apr 30, 2013 Gef rated it it was amazing
Shelves: crime, thriller
Some say noir is just a story with no heroes. If that's the case, then Yellow Medicine is most definitely noir, because its protagonist, Billy LaFitte, is a far cry from a hero.

LaFitte is a man of the law, but he's never let that get in the way of doing the right thing. After leaving New Orleans in disgrace, losing his job, his wife and son, and all general faith in mankind, he winds up working for his ex-wife's brother who is a sheriff in a Yellow Medicine County, Minnesota. It's a dull, dreary
Dec 24, 2008 Jeffrey rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: hardboiled fans of murder and mayhem
Shelves: mystery, read-in-2008
A raw hard mystery. The main character is a sheriff Lafitte, an aptly named pirate, from down Katrina way who in order to help people during the aftermath engaged in various corrupt acts with his partner Paul Asimov. Divorced from his wife he now makes a living in Minnesota working for his wife's brother, but also is back to working the angles. That is muscling in on the meth lab guys, running protection racket and generally being a corrupt cop. He is asked by a girl he helped out and took sex i ...more
Carl R.
If you ever wondered what noir fiction was, you’ll find the definition in Anthony Neil Smith’s e-/paperback-book, Yellow Medicine. Start with the protagonist. Deputy sheriff Billy Lafitte is not just flawed. He’s a doofus. Impulsive. Doesn’t think ahead. When he’s intent on bonking someone, he usually fails to check behind him to see if someone else is about to bonk him. All this costs people injury, money, even lives. Still, you root for him. Why, I’m not sure. Maybe because always trying someh ...more
Sherri Vigil
Feb 01, 2016 Sherri Vigil rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My first book by this author. Very intense storyline. Great narratives. Thriller it truly is. The main character, Billy, is complicated to understand in any form of a "hero" role. The storyline is unsettling but only because it has some truth possibilities. I did read to the end and would recommend if you really enjoy thrillers!
Apr 30, 2012 Byron rated it it was ok
The best part about this book is the main character, who's a bad guy in the way that you wouldn't see in a book that wasn't self-published. Think Bad Lieutenant. The worst part about it is the rest of it. I liked the fact that it tried to draw a connection between Hurricane Katrina, drugs, the War on Terror and hot chicks in rock bands, the four things that are on my mind on a regular basis, but I didn't find the story to be at all believable. It seemed like the guy was just making it up as he w ...more
Paul Trembling
WARNING - SPOILER! Definitely a page turner: fast-paced, with authentic characters and background, and a plot that keeps you wanting to know what happens next. The central character is an especially good creation - the corrupt cop, living with the consequences of his past, but not quite able or willing to change. I do have a few problems with it, though. Minor ones - I don't like the cover, which looks cheap though it probably isn't. Just personal taste, of course, but it didn't attract me. Ther ...more
Rowena Hoseason
Sep 14, 2015 Rowena Hoseason rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Billy Lafitte figured out at an early age that the best way to bend the law was to be the law. This book – the first in a trilogy – kicks off like it’s a plain and simple of story of brutally bad backwoods America, where every shed hosts a meth-lab and every corrupt lawman demands his dues.

But then the narrative escalates into something much bigger. There’s a coherent, carefully crafted plot driving the action. There’s more than money motivating the stone-cold killers who’ve rolled into town an
Aug 17, 2014 Steve rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Took me forever to read the first half of this crime novel. And then I remembered that a couple glasses of wine made bad mysteries go quicker - and I finished it off in 2 days.

Lead to this because of comparisons to Jim Thompson, and the rural setting - SW MN near Marshall, where Smith teaches at SW MN SU. SE Asian Muslim terrorists come to the county to take over the meth trade. The violence is unreal and gratuitous, and reads like something from a violent video game. Half dead anti-hero can no
Tim Niland
Feb 21, 2014 Tim Niland rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014-reads
Kicked out of the police in Mississippi in the wake of Katrina, Billy Lafitte signs on a deputy in a rural Minnesota backwater where his ex-wife’s brother is sheriff. Falling for a young woman named Drew who plays in a local rock band, he agrees to look into the affairs of her boyfriend who has run afoul of the local meth manufacturers by losing some of their goods. When he is contacted by two meth dealers looking to form an alliance, things go from bad to worse. The boyfriend goes missing along ...more
Aug 05, 2009 Johnny rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A solid first half that gets away from itself somewhere in the middle, where it makes the turn from THE KILLER INSIDE ME to an episode of 24. In an effort to maintain its pace, it sometimes throws procedure and logic aside.

I found myself often wondering why the characters were doing what they did. It was usually to get them in more trouble, but that felt forced (it made the events to the author's advantage, not the character's).

Some good moments and some confident writing, but a little loose.
Dec 18, 2015 Matt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'd give it 3.5 stars so I'm rounding up here. A violent blast of noir that loses some steam about three quarters of the way through. The protagonist is a little too far on the unlikable side and a little too dumb to completely get behind which can be a killer for this type of book. The writing is pretty good and it has some great set pieces but overall it was slightly underwhelming.
Tom Steer
Jan 07, 2016 Tom Steer rated it it was amazing
This was my second Anthony Neil Smith novel, after Worm, which I read cover to cover in a day. I found Yellow Medicine to be even more rewarding. Billy Lafitte is an addictive narrator, perfectly synced with Smith's prose style. What stands out about Billy is that, like the noir protagonists who predate him, Billy is capable of doing the "wrong" thing and still retaining my sympathies. Not to say that Lafitte doesn't have a moral code--right from the outset we see one in his attitude to Drew, th ...more
Jason Beech
It makes a cool change to follow a protagonist who is an absolute arse, with hardly a redeeming feature to latch to. At least in the early stages of this Anthony Neil Smith novel set in the American Midwest.
We meet Billy Lafitte, a Yellow Medicine copper, fancying the knickers off another man’s girlfriend, Drew, promising to help her boyfriend, Ian, with some drug trouble he’s got himself into, only so he can get in her good books so he can have her to himself. To be fair, he wants her on her te
Sep 01, 2012 Pete rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
After being busted off the police force in Mississippi, Deputy Billy Lafitte is given a second chance by his ex-wife’s brother who is sheriff of Yellow Medicine County in Minnesota. He gets on the wrong side of some terrorists operating crack houses on the outskirts of town.

I don’t read a lot of Crime Noir, but I did enjoy the lean writing style—lots of sentence fragments and smart-assed asides. However, I struggled with the protagonist. He’s an easy guy to dislike, especially his attitude towa
Les Edgerton
Aug 07, 2011 Les Edgerton rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I can’t believe it took me this many years to read Anthony Neil Smith. I’d of course heard about him often, usually in a sentence that went something like, “Dude! You’ve to read this guy!”

Well… “Dude” didn’t read him when he should have.

But, I have now and now I’m on a mission to sing his praises to everyone who will listen. Listen up: “Dude! You have got to read this guy!”

I’m on my third of Smith’s novels since I discovered him less than a week ago. The first of his novels I read—or, better “ex
Heath Lowrance
May 09, 2012 Heath Lowrance rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
YELLOW MEDICINE is the first book in the story of self-destructive, corrupt-but-complex, loser-hero Deputy Billy Lafitte. After irrevocably messing up his life in Louisiana, Billy is now a cop in a back-water burg in Minnesota. In a short period of time, he’s managed to establish himself as King of the Hill, controlling the county’s criminal element by force, intimidation, and shady dealings. But it’s a precarious perch he’s on, and when sexy Drew (bass player in a psycho-billy band) needs his h ...more
Tim Mayer
Jul 25, 2012 Tim Mayer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am starting to wonder if Anthony Neil Smith is capable of writing a bad novel. This is the third one I have read by him and all are first-rate. It doesn’t surprise me at all he teaches creative writing. I hope his students are soaking up his talent.

Yellow Medicine (the title refers to the name of the town in Minnesota where most of the action takes place) is narrated by Deputy Billy Lafitte. He’s a broken-down deputy in a frost bitten county. Removed from the police force in New Orleans for co
Elizabeth A.
Most people don’t take bribes or go out of their way to abuse their authority. Most people don’t routinely violate their oath of office or take advantage of people who are down. Most people wouldn’t dream of exploiting a natural disaster of historic proportions for their own gain.

Most people aren’t Billy Lafitte.

And thank god for that, because Billy Lafitte is not a nice man. Billy Lafitte is the type of thieving, exploitative, brutal thug people expect the police to protect them from. Good luck
Jerry Grahs
May 19, 2013 Jerry Grahs rated it it was ok
Shelves: hard-boiled-noir
Smith introduces us to a Mississippi lawman, Billy LaFitte that runs afoul after Katrina. His wife leaves him and stays with their 2 children while her brother sees to it to offer Lafitte a deputy position in Yellow Medicine county in southern Minnesota. Lafitte runs cover for some crank cookers, has the hots for a young singing lead of a pyschobilly playing band while trying to steer clear of doing much police work, a modern day Nick Corey from Jim Thompson's Pop 1280. I hesitate to make that c ...more
Dec 10, 2011 Matt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Yellow Medicine by Anthony Neil Smith is a gritty, noir crime drama that reminds me of the love child of Quentin Tarantino and a Cohen Brothers film. The 260 page tale is gritty, deadly, harsh, at times outlandish but still somehow grounded in reality.

Not really sure why I picked this ebook up, I grabbed the sample on a whim and dove in, quickly burning through the sample pages. I purchased the book immediately.

The main character Billy Lafitte is a complete anti-hero who often is confronted wit
Spencer Koch
May 14, 2011 Spencer Koch rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found out about this novel through the crime/noir community on Twitter, which I have found generally makes good recommendations. I purchased the novel for 0.99 on Amazon, and read it on a mixture of my kindle and iPad.

Yellow Medicine is a novel starring Billy Lafitte, a deputy in small town named Yellow Medicine, Minnesota. Billy Lafitte is a crooked cop who lost his job in Louisiana after hurricane Katrina when he was taking kickbacks from citizens to help them recover/survive the hurricane.
Sabrina Ogden
May 12, 2011 Sabrina Ogden rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In Yellow Medicine by Anthony Neil Smith, we find Deputy Billy Lafitte starting a new life in Minnesota after Hurricane Katrina left him not only homeless, but without a family and a job when he decided to take advantage of other victims in the area by securing fees in exchange for his Good Samaritan-like behavior.

Even with the second chance provided to him by his brother-in-law, Deputy Lafitte manages to take kick-backs from the meth dealers that have set up shop throughout Yellow Medicine Cou
Jul 27, 2008 Patricia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Gulfport, Mississippi to rural Minnesota is quite a jump for Deputy Billy LaFitte but the change in location has done nothing to alter Billy’s law enforcement style. Billy knows the rules but has no problem in bending them. Billy’s not adverse to a bribe either.

However, when terrorism hits Yellow Medicine, Minnesota Billy agrees to help a local girl, Drew, who is a bassist for a psychobilly band. She is afraid for her boyfriend Ian, a drug dealer, who is being threatened by someone over some lo
Ross Cumming
Jul 27, 2013 Ross Cumming rated it liked it
Had previously read and enjoyed Smith's novel Psychosomatic and when I saw this was free on Amazon KIndle I decided to give it a go. I don't need to summarise the story as the 'blurb' above adequately sums up the central premise of the story. However the protagonist Billy Lafitte is a difficult character to pin down, as he is basically a 'bent cop' but at the same time has a strong sense of moral responsibility, especially towards the people he cares for. This gives the reader a bit of a dilemma ...more
Brian Walker
May 25, 2015 Brian Walker rated it really liked it
Very interesting read. Captivating

This book was just what I was looking for. A very good story line and great characters. This is the first book that I have read by author Anthony Neil Smith but I know I will be reading more. An easy to read book that will keep you captivated if you like crime stories.
Todd Morr
Nov 03, 2014 Todd Morr rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Solid tale of a bad cop getting worse, as even his attempts to do the right thing go horribly wrong. The only complaint is some forced political commentary squeezed in toward the end, but still well worth a read and a fine start to an excellent series.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 25 26 next »
  • The Bastard Hand
  • Toros & Torsos
  • Small Crimes
  • Frank Sinatra in a Blender
  • Empty Ever After (Moe Prager, #5)
  • Peckerwood
  • Out There Bad
  • The Deputy
  • Slammer
  • Fake I.D.
  • Choke Hold
  • Sounds of Murder (Pamela Barnes Acoustic Mystery #1)
  • Adventures of Cash Laramie and Gideon Miles (Cash Laramie & Gideon Miles, #1)
  • Piggyback
  • Stranger Will
  • Dead Game (Emily Stone #2)
  • The Evil Within
  • Pirate (Stratton, #7)

Other Books in the Series

Billy Lafitte (4 books)
  • Hogdoggin': The Next Chapter of the Billy Lafitte Saga (Billy Lafitte, #2)
  • The Baddest Ass (Billy Lafitte, #3)
  • Holy Death: A Billy Lafitte Novel

Share This Book