Daily Archives: February 23, 2012

Revenge of the Red Square (Featuring Hymie Goldman, the Defective Detective) by The Penny Brothers

Published by Matador

In the world of Hymie Goldman, failed electrician cum defective detective, nothing is ever as it seems. Hired by a man with no face to find a man with no name, he soon becomes embroiled in a bitter feud between two rival organisations intent in destroying each other and the planet. Can he save the world? Will he ever get anywhere with the luscious Ruby? And where did he leave that Quark bomb? These are just some of the questions he will surely never answer….

It’s very rare that a crime fiction book makes me smile along as I’m reading it, and even rarer that I’d find myself reading a crime book with a recommendation on the cover from June Whitfield (I can’t recall her quotes ever appearing on an Ian Rankin or Harlan Coben book).

But this is old school fun, with an inept Detective and sidekick, an equally useless Magician and his assistant and a couple of questionable sinister (dis)organisations thrown into the mix.

The Red Square is out to destroy The Magic Triangle and they have a deadly bomb at their disposal – you don’t really need to know much more than that, as it’s the humorous characters and situtations along the way that carry the book rather than the plot.  With less violence that Eoin Colfer’s recent ‘Plugged’ and aimed higher than the children’s reads by Anthony Horowitz (The Falcon’s Malteser etc), this is just a nice little fun read.

Peppered with jokes on familiar and less familiar names, of which some work and others don’t – I can’t imagine many readers will remember Victor Kiam (I can hear you googling him right now), others are more obvious; Tim Wotherspoon and Tex Avery to name just a couple, and I wondered if these name-checks should have been reined in a bit as there are a lot of them.

I loved one sequence in particular, where a driver is selected to drive the Christmas parade float after discovering that everyone else has had a few too many to drink, and the ensuing race through London. And the description of Fleet services is something that will remain with me and will be recalled whenever I have the (mis)fortune to be there next.

A good light-hearted break from the norm – and, like the best comedies, nobody really gets hurt (too much).

Buy your copy here.

Keith

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