Out now from Headline
With such an iconic looking book jacket, you may be fooled (for a little while) into thinking that bestselling childrens’ author Eoin Colfer has done some serious growing up since his hugely successful Artemis Fowl series – hold that thought.
For, whilst the subject matter is much more adult and dark in this tale of bouncers, strip joints, drugs and murders, he is clearly still having an absolute blast with the humour in this book.
Comparisons in early reviews constantly refer to the books of Carl Hiaasen and the movies of the Coen Brothers (I’d also throw in the books of Christopher Brookmyre and Bateman too) and it’s just that great mix of dark and sinister meets crazy outright hilarious situations which is going to make this such a hit. In short, I had a great time reading PLUGGED and can’t recall a book having genuine ‘laugh out loud’ moments for quite some time.
We follow our hero, Daniel McEvoy (with Colfer writing him in the first person, despite having a disclaimer that Daniel is not based on himself!) an Irish bouncer working in New Jersey who, through one messed up situation after another finds himself caught up with a procession of drug dealers, prostitutes and a cop killing female cop. He is a character haunted by the ghost of his missing friend, Zeb, who may or may not be dead and who talks to him throughout and helps and hinders along the way.
Oh, and did I mention Dan is also having hair implant treatment? (A very nice dual use of the term Plugged for that and for a shooting)
I found the plot to be like a twisting rattlesnake, never knowing what direction it was going to take next and full of surprises, with the best way to enjoy it being to just grab it by the tail and enjoy the ride.
The dialogue is the very best thing with the book, snappy one-liners coming in rapid succession, spattering out like an uncensored Philip Marlowe – the kind of sharp lines you just wish you had readily to hand if ever in bother yourself.
It’s too early for some of them to read this as they’d possibly be shocked at the new ‘Artemis Fowl-mouthed’, but hey, this one’s for us grown ups, right?
That’s not to say that I will now be seeking out some of his other books from my childrens’ rooms now.
A great start for a fresh, exciting and very entertaining new crime writer.
Plugged left me drained but I loved every page of it.
Keith B Walters