Dutch Uncle

Dutch Uncle

by Peter Pavia
3.0 2

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Dutch Uncle 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
filmnut27 More than 1 year ago
"Dutch Uncle", yet another title in the Hard Case Crime line, is offbeat in the fact that it doesn't follow the formula of others in the publishing series. That could be a good thing, refreshing for one, but unfortunately you need an engaging story to take that risk. "Dutch Uncle", a generic crime novel featuring no real pulp texture to it, is not that story. Here's the story: Harry Healy juggles the role of the protagonist with a few select others characters: The Cop, The Assistant, The Crook, etc. Rounding out the pack are the Drug Dealers, The Low Lifes, The Burned-Out Bombshells, etc. Healy gets caught up in a crime committed by the supporting characters, while the cops try to tail them. For a large chunk of the story Healy himself is quite distant from the surrounding plot. Healy gets out of jail, witnesses a crime scene, and lays low and starts building his new life. The remainder follows the cops tailing the crooks, while the crooks all try to outwit each other. This colorful cast of characters could've been entertaining but they rarely interact in the explosive, thrilling ways we anticipate - no showdowns, no power-plays, nothing. It's a standard crime story, but it's neither engaging nor worthwhile. There's a dozen better crime novels out there than "Dutch Uncle", and it's style isn't grabbing from Page 1. In fact, "Dutch Uncle" takes it's time to really get its gears in motion - if you can stay past that slow beginning then finish the book through. The lively and well-described setting of underworld Miami Beach, Florida is fascinating enough, but the story it takes place in doesn't do it justice. The good guys are pretty sympathetic, but the bad guys aren't nearly as devilishly bad as we'd hope they'd be. The book cover itself, designed by R.B. Farrell, is one of Hard Case Crime's best: hot, neon-like colors attempt to sell a like-minded sultry and seedy story. Sadly, it's a disappointment for the HCC series of books, which tend to be overall exceptional. It's not the fact that "Dutch Uncle" is terrible, per se', it's just the fact that it's been done in better places by better authors. To name drop, if you've read Elmore Leonard and enjoyed him, Peter Pavia's "Dutch Uncle" will only feel like Leonard on a really bad day.
RobertDowns More than 1 year ago
So I’m sorry to say DUTCH UNCLE really wasn’t all that memorable (the way a Camry isn’t really all that memorable after you’ve been staring at Lamborghinis all day and getting more than an eyeful). Like the Camry in a lot filled with Lamborghinis, this book seemed to have potential, a voice, and displayed brief inklings of success. But I was lost in a sea of characters who didn’t really feel all that different from one another and backstory that proved jarring at times. Instead of whispering back and forth between the present and the past, I felt like I was in a boat and about to be tipped over. Like any good hard-boiled tale, the men packed more than a few punches, and the violence bubbled up to the surface. As for the women, they actually seemed to have a bit of sass and strength, and it proved to be a rather pleasant surprise. And it made my ensuing disappointment all the worse, as I found myself forgetting passages and entire chapters as soon as I had finished them. Had I not enjoyed all the other Hard Case Crime novels, I might have given up on this one sooner, and just cut my losses, even as I kept waiting for potential to mirror up with reality. In the end, it just didn’t quite seem to pan out. Robert Downs Author of Falling Immortality: Casey Holden, Private Investigator