INTRODUCTION: When I was a child, I wanted to grow up to be a police officer, so I could make detective. Yes, I would of loved to have been the real life equal of Batman. I learned a lot about the job through watching, reading or playing games like Clue. Naturally, some of what intrigued me is Noir or Noiresque novels. Normally I preferred the ones with detectives. Hell, my first novel, novella, is a noiresque book, so it isn’t like I could pass over such, even if I wanted to. This one doesn’t have a detective, sadly. That said, I am still going to review it.
PLOT: A TV Repairman gets hired to help rig up TV’s and an intercom system, in an ailing man’s apartment, when he meets the man’s 18 year old step daughter and bad shit follows.
CHARACTERS: It’s an old Noir novel. You’re not getting deep writing with these characters. You’re barley given any description when it comes to what they look like, a lot like Stephen King characters. They’re not quite one dimensional, but they do have a one track mind, making them rather dull.
PROSE: It works for this type of novel. Not award winning stuff, but you don’t come to Gil Brewer for Nobokov, you come for a plot driven story.
DIALOGUE: Clunky and weird at times, but it was written in 1958, so maybe we shouldn’t be too harsh on it.
SUBTEXT: None, again, it’s the Mcdonald’s of writing. Although, there are moments, you will read between the lines, like myself thinking the main male character could be African American, given he keeps referring to the whiteness of his femme fatale. Sure, he could be white, and just smitten with an auburn hair girls contrast with her skin, but their are other elements in the dialogue that make you think he is black. It never states his age, just that it’s alluded to that he is seemingly older, but he doesn’t want them seen together, even though she is perfectly legal and I do not think it really has to do with their devious plans, as the character claims. Personal opinion, I think it was an, at the time, illegal interracial hook up, on top of a Romeo and Juliet romance. Remember this was written to be shocking in the 1950’s, so it is possible.
CONCLUSION: If you go into this book with the right frame of mind, you will enjoy it for what it is, scholky entertainment. If you are looking for more from your novels, do not bother. I enjoyed reading this, albeit, I prefer detectives and not a book about two people attempting to be criminals, but it isn’t bad. It has a lot of classic Noir tropes and while this isn’t the first one I have read, it is far from my last.
3 out of 5 stars.