It is true this one has so many twists and turns you feel washed, scrubbed, and tumble-dried when it’s over. At first it seemed like a clever ploy going down, but toward the middle, end-center it really took off as unique and brilliant with plot execution.
I didn’t latch on in the beginning…the writing style of the opening scene was well-arranged and kept me searching, but then it seemed to slow with Angela to things that, while I could keep reading, it just dragged too much. It didn’t help that none of the characters are likeable here. This is a trademark of Hard Case to have characters you don’t latch on to, but these are really all to be despised.
I didn’t realize it was a black comedy sort until some of the funnier stuff started happening later – the herpes was hilarious, then almost getting old, then funny again. When humor arose it was refreshing and took some of the pressure off the winding tale. Everyone deceives, double crosses, and fools everyone here.
While there are many players, it is certainly NOT a character-orientated novel. Purely plot-driver, and while the story was all over the place, it still almost manages to sustain believability. After the weaker pacing, build-up, the pacing took off and never let go of the rush afterword. Dark humor reared its head in a few places, making me doubt myself at times if it was intended or not. Once the book is through, though, it’s evident it was always there waiting to be discovered.
As for the ending? As is typical with these crime noir books, irony is rich but karma isn’t always dependable.