Wednesday, December 27, 2017

BOOK REVIEW: The Devil Doesn't Want Me by Eric Beetner

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I’d seen Eric Beetner’s work pop up as recommended on the Men’s Adventure Paperbacks Facebook Page, but had never actually pulled the trigger. That, my friends, was a mistake, as I found out when I finally got around to reading The Devil Doesn’t Want Me.

One part "The Mechanic" and one part "The Professional"—and if that description doesn’t get your juices flowing, you may be visiting the wrong blog—Beetner’s kickoff to the Lars & Shaine series is violent, action-packed crime fiction done right. The kind of novel that Quentin Tarintino could make into a killer—uh, no pun intended—movie. Cast Mel Gibson as Lars and Chloe Grace Moretz as Shaine and you’ve got cinematic gold.

I had a devil of a good time reading this book. I went in with my expectations low—no reason why, it just happens sometimes—but came out the other side with those expectations seriously exceeded. Usually the hardboiled genre doesn't get me whipped into a lather due to a lack of action—I am primarily an action-adventure reader/writer—but Beetner serves up plenty of shootouts and fisticuffs that make this more of an action-crime novel than a straight-up hardboiled entry. And for that I say, God bless and pass the ammo. Hollowpoints only, please.

Alternate cover
The pace never flags—some crime novels move slower than a turtle crawling uphill through molasses, but Beetner is way too good to let that happen—and the dialogue is smart, crisp, and laced with dark humor. The reluctant relationship between Lars and Shaine provides an emotional hook for the reader without resorting to Hallmark sappiness. Again, think of "The Professional" and you’ve got the general gist of things. And then there's the endgame twist ... yeah, I never saw it coming. Well played, Beetner, well played. Sucker hit me like an uppercut and I was happy to be hammered.

Anyway, stop reading this review and start reading The Devil Doesn't Want Me. You can thank me later. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go see where I put Tarintino’s phone number…

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