Wednesday, March 9, 2016

A TASTE FOR SIN by Gil Brewer

While the last Brewer novel I read left much to be desired, A Taste For Sin, one of his later works, hits all the right notes! In it, we follow Jim Phalen, a drunk with money problems, as he hooks up with Felice Anderson, a hot, barely legal Latina with rough rape fantasies. It's all fun and games at first, but then this feisty femme goes from zero to fatale almost immediately, blackmailing him into helping her not only kill her husband but also rob the bank where he works of a million bucks.
She was a juvenile delinquent with a Spanish tinge, and she was absolutely out of her mind.
This book has a lot of the ingredients that make a great pulp novel: ultra fast pacing that leaves you breathless, a vulnerable and morally questionable protagonist, an icy but irresistible femme fatale, dark humor, and surprising violence. We've seen a plot like this many times in pulp noir, but Brewer stands out and writes it all with his usual sharp wit and ratchets the intensity way up.

I read this book as part of the Gil Brewer two-fer from Stark House that also includes Wild To Possess. While that book was pretty bland with a clunky plot, in A Taste For Sin, not only does the plot move as smooth as butter, but Brewer holds no punches with the depravity in the material. There aren't many books where you'll have a scene where the two main characters run around the house rough-sexin' each other while they have a police officer blind-folded and gagged and dog-chained to a radiator upstairs. A fun read!
When you dine with Death, Fear sits at the head of the table.

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