Friday, October 3, 2014

Shovel Ready by Adam Sternbergh

4 Stars
“What if I told you I only kill serial killers? It’s not true, but what if I told you that?”
“I kill men. I kill woman because I don’t discriminate. I don’t kill children because that’s a different kind of psycho. I do it for money.”
When a series of dirty bombs are set off in Manhattan, the Big Apple finds itself minus half of its population (either from the radiation poisoning or from fleeing to a safer coast) and Spademan finds himself out of his old job as a garbageman. Now he spends his time living in Hoboken and commuting to the city via rowboat in order to “take care” of other people’s problems. He has a very strict don’t ask/don’t tell policy when it comes to clients and is very adept when it comes to using a boxcutter . . .

When Spademan is hired by a creepy evangelist

(AMIRIGHT???? Don’t say he didn’t immediately come to mind for all you sinners too.)

who runs a “heaven on Earth” commune where you can rent time in

the Matrix? Huh? I have a confuse . . .

Anyway, yeah, apparently life sucked so bad after the end of the world as we know it that many of the richest of the rich have opted to tap out of the real world by tapping in to virtual reality and this new antichrist preacher man is going to bring Utopia to the masses. There’s only one thing standing in his way – his daughter and her dirty little secrets. For the first time Spademan finds himself faced with a bit of a moral dilemma and must figure out who is good and who is evil.

I seriously dug this book. I’m going to be totally upfront and say it’s not for everyone. The writing is very raw and choppy – and the author does not believe in using quotation marks so there’s a very good chance you’ll go insane trying to figure out who is saying what (or if they are really even talking aloud at all). If you can get past all that, you’ll find a super fresh version of a classic noir. Spademan reminded me of one of my favorite characters

and if you know anything about me, you’ll know it’s an instant love-fest if a book makes me think of Sin City. The pace was fast, there was tons of action and I could almost hear the gritty smoker’s voice as I read Spademan’s narrative soliloquy. I dug it enough I might even pick up the next one in the series (and I hardly EVER pick up the next book in a series).

ARC provided by the publisher through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review

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