Sunday, February 21, 2016


This novel opens with a neat but pretty unbelievable premise where a lonely, drunk sign-maker overhears a couple of strangers plan a kidnapping plot and decides to get in on the action. It's basically a noir-within-noir structure where the main character has his very own James M. Cain story playing out in front of him and he decides to write a role for himself, interrupt the whole shebang and take off with all the ransom money, while trying to also deal with a horny girlfriend, and a man that shows up knowing all of the dark secrets of his past.

The events that follow were difficult to buy into and I was never truly engaged beyond the surface action. It just felt too "conceived," like I could see the uneven gears of Brewer's plot turning. Thankfully, Brewer's trademark pacing kept things going at a quick clip and there were a few tense scenes. But then things just fizzled out with a weak climax and a forgettable resolution.


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