Wednesday, September 14, 2016

THE BRAT by Gil Brewer

Pulpy tagline!: "She wanted out and she had the price—a lovely body and the will to use it."

This is a middle of the road Gil Brewer novel that falls somewhere between the pulp awesomeness of The Vengeful Virgin or A Taste For Sin, and the disappointing Wild To Possess. In this book, Brewer pushes to create the "fatalest" of femmes in Evis Helling, the titular "brat" of the story. But brat is an understatement! Lee first meets her when he's riding down a river one day minding his own business and he sees her sitting on a dock, as if she's been waiting specifically for him to ride by, like a sweaty swamp succubus ready to suck him in. They soon marry and then begin to plot a robbery together. After he starts to get cold feet, she goes through with the robbery anyway and sets him up to take the fall, prompting Lee to travel back into the heart of swampy darkness to track her down!

I thought that the beginning of the book was great and the final act was pretty good, but the middle of the book that mostly consists of Lee traveling through the swamp did not have the same urgency that Brewer is known for, and it falls into a repetitive slog. I also thought that the desperate sheriff was a pretty annoying character. But even though it doesn't stand up to his best work, it's still entertaining enough, even if just for it's pulpiness and for Evis herself!
I cursed her and tore that dress to shreds.
It was like tearing us apart. I had to demolish every last stitch of cloth, scattering what remained of the dream across the floor of the room where a ghost of her still moaned and writhed in ecstasy.

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