I havent read much pulp/noir fiction so I cant say too much about it stands within that genre. I will say that it was a superb bit of writing. The plot ostensibly concerns the hunt for a serial killer determined to bring order to the chaos of Quinsigamond. But its not really about that and although some time is given to the killers motives and mindset, those only seem to be there to serve the theme. The real drive of the book is about decay and change. When it was published in the mid 1990s at the dawn of the internet age, its focus on radio probably seemed like a nostalgic curio. A slight hankering for a bygone time. And reading it now, 15 years after only reinforces that. But its part of the trick, the structure. This about a steel town in decay, with its best days behind it and its populous struggling to find out what happens next. Will it kill them all or is there some kind of salvation to be had? Its about nostalgia for the past, a longing for something you never had and fear (and in a couple cases, acceptance) of the future and what it will bring.Ive not read the other novels in the cycle (Box 9 is up next though) so I also cant say how this plays out overall. I do know that the prose was simple, clear and more often than not like a punch to the gut. The feeling of despair and malaise in all the lives shown in this book felt very real. All the characters were complex and had lives and motivations stretching beyond the plot that tied them together.I wish all novels were so wonderfully constructed!