As a founder member of Mystery Women in 1997, promoting Crime Fiction has always been my passion.
Following the closure of Mystery Women, a new group was formed on 30th January 2012 promoting crime fiction.
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Head of Zeus, 12 December 2019. ISBN: 978-1-83893310-4 (HB)
I feel I shouldn't really approve of crime novels in which the
protagonists are the criminals and they're sure to get past the cops and come
out on top, but when they're as much fun as this one, ethics get pushed aside
and I just enjoy the ride.
And what a rollercoaster ride
it is. In the first few pages, before the main story even gets going, a bridge
gets blown up, a militia gang gets its comeuppance and the FBI arrive too late
to do anything about it. Our Hero, a club bouncer and gangland fixer called
Joe, who used to work undercover for the government in a previous life, is at
the centre of it all despite his heroin habit. And since he is determined to
kick the habit, you have to admire him from the outset.
And kick it he does, just in
time to take on his biggest job yet for his gangland compadres: stealing a
small fortune in diamonds to pay for a consignment of drugs, and making sure
the guys who are selling don't get a chance to muscle in on the territory.
The result is a colourful,
high-octane adventure, with a plot with more twists than a Twirl bar and a list
of good bad guys and bad bad guys, larger than life and straight from Central
Casting (all except Joe and his unlikely romantic interest Agent Donna of the
FBI), each with his or her improbable quirk; I especially liked Yelena the mad
Russian with her arsenal of weapons, and Juno the ace IT nerd who likes playing
with traffic lights. But they're none the worse for this broad brushstroke
approach; it could even be a deliberate technique on the part of the author,
since the overall effect is to make the book read like a movie: think The
Godfather meets The Italian Job.
It's set in New York, but
maybe not quite as we more innocent souls know it; there are some frankly
unbelievable (except somehow I did) locations, and I think we'd better gloss
over the relationship between the gangland bosses and the construction industry.
There's also one of the best car chases since, yes, you guessed, The Italian
Lots of blood is spilt as you
might expect, and a few of those twists aren't quite what you'd expect in
latter-day Mafia territory. Our Hero Joe even has some traits more usually
associated with law upholders rather than law breakers. In fact, I quite look
forward to meeting him again in future books. Though I don't quite approve of
myself for saying that...
Reviewer: Lynne Patrick
David Gordon was born in New York City. He attended Sarah Lawrence
College and holds an MA in English and Comparative Literature and an MFA in
Writing, both from Columbia University, and has worked in film, fashion,
publishing, and pornography. His first novel, The Serialist, won the
VCU/Cabell First Novel Award and was a finalist for an Edgar Award. His work
has also appeared in The Paris Review, Purple, and Fence among other publications.
Lynne Patrick has been a writer ever since she could pick up a pen,
and has enjoyed success with short stories, reviews and feature journalism, but
never, alas, with a novel. She crossed to the dark side to become a publisher
for a few years, and is proud to have launched several careers which are now
burgeoning. She lives on the edge of rural Derbyshire in a house groaning with
books, about half of them crime fiction.