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Posted July 2, 2001
Collections of short stories, like boxes of bon-bons, should not be consumed at a single sitting, but rather parceled out over time in order to appreciate their flavor. This is certainly true of BAD GIRLS, a gathering of twelve hard-edged stories by Michael Bracken, all but two of which previously appeared in Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine, Gent, Espionage, and other publications. Each story prominently features a woman¿ beautiful, seductive, buxom, and usually treacherous¿as perpetrator or participant in crime; sometimes she gets away with it, other times she doesn¿t. A slim (135 pages), well-produced trade paperback volume with an appropriately lurid cover, BAD GIRLS packs a lot of wallop in its tales of spying, lying and dying. The deceitful women range from double-dealing double agents to wicked waitresses, and from cheating wives to murderous mistresses, who star in stories with titles like 'Three¿s a Shroud' and 'Vengeance to Show in the Third.' The language of BAD GIRLS is crisp, no-nonsense, and dialogue is often tinged with rough humor befitting the hard-boiled genre: 'I want to see Eddie,' I said. 'You seen him,' he said, 'if you used both your eyes.' Much-published author Michael Bracken writes smoothly and fluidly with few wasted words. BAD GIRLS will provide an entertaining read for those who have always believed the female is just as deadly as the male, and who enjoy a taste of crime in bite-sized pieces.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.