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Posted April 6, 2011
I was interested in this book because of the unusual southern setting - I think Gulf Shores and lots of the so-called Redneck Riviera is a great setting for detective stories, but too many who try it go the Carl Hiassen route and do it mostly for comedy, like life down here is a joke compared to New York or Chicago. And while Gischler hasn't been known for taking things too seriously (I apologize that I'm not super-familiar with Smith), To the Devil mostly plays it straight. Z.Z. DelPresto, the PI hero of the story, is a dirty SOB, and not necessarily in the lovable way. I really liked how, instead of making him a lovable scamp, the authors just make him a scumbag loser in most ways - expressed best by how he starts up a sexual relationship with a teenage girl (ZZ swears he thought the girl was of age but I don't buy it), AND hopelessly falls in love with her. This guy would be a supporting character in just about any other noir PI story as the Scumbag PI to show contrast with the hero, who would naturally be more of the Rockford or Hammer type. His character is strong throughout and the writers do a good job of getting you to root for him even though you probably wouldn't let him housesit for you. The plot is pretty straightforward even though all the angles the writers set up make it sound super-complicated as any good noir story should be. This book is a novella-length piece and as a result it actually ends up to not have your typical noir (or if you prefer, the "Shyamalamadingdong") twist at the end. When I, drunk as a lord and finishing up the book while my wife hollers at me to come help her move some furniture, can solve the mystery - well I hope they weren't shooting for an Edgar. But it's okay. I actually liked that, because this book, even though it basically follows the standard formula, wasn't typical in that it had no pretensions. It was more like, you got a buck, you want to read a detective story, BAM, straight to the Nook. This to me is one of the best things about ebooks. Overall, it was an enjoyable read and confirmed my interest in these authors, so I'll be checking out more of their books. I'd like to see another ZZ DelPresto story, maybe to see what is up with that funky name, who his momma is, that kind of thing we like to know in the south. Maybe even a full-length book as I think Gischler and Smith, if they had a chance to really stretch their legs, could do a good southern noir story with lots of lurid descriptions and hooker decapitations and people smoking meth and stuff like that.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 13, 2011
REVIEWS OF UNUSUAL SIZE
**Re** Z.Z. Delpresto is having a very bad week. It started out okay, hired to track a wealthy wife, falling for her sexy daughter, still collecting the paycheck to go with the job. Then the daughter, who just happens to be seventeen ends up dead, and DelPresto's hand is still holding the knife.
**Outstanding** This novella costs less than a buck and is written by Gischler and Smith. That should be enough reason to buy it right there. Both have a deft hand at noir, and this slim book is a great read with some memorable moments and a nicely twisty story.
**Unacceptable** Two things - It's too short. Well, it's actually just the right length, I just wish there was more DelPresto to follow it up. And I really don't like the cover. Going into it, I figured, based on the photo of a vampire from Buffy, that I'd be getting some sort of paranormal, deal with the devil detective story. Instead, it was much better than that.
**Summary** Excellent. If you like crime books at all, especially with a dose of humor thrown in, this is right up your alley. Buy a copy on Kindle or the Nook! I've said it before, this is what these ereaders are made for - non-traditional stories and formats that would otherwise be impossible to find.
Posted March 15, 2011
No text was provided for this review.