This mature (read: expect lots of foul language, violence, and sex) action/suspense novel tells the story of Daniel, an Irish casino doorman who finds himself pulled into the dangerous urban underbelly while trying to avenge the killer of his sort-of girlfriend and the abduction of his best friend.
I’m a huge fan of Eoin Colfer’s other books, so didn’t hesitate to pick this up without even reading the premise, though now I’m thinking I should have — it wasn’t at all what I expected.
This book was a stereotypical action movie, in book format. You had your typical hero type, an ex-army guy who knows how to kill, but doesn’t like to, who tries to avenge crimes he sees committed against those to whom he is close. He goes in without any sort of plan of attack, yet manages to get by completely unscathed because, well, he’s the good guy. You also have the typical mobster boss type who is prideful to a fault and has a sweet spot for his mommy. Then you have the Michele Rodriguez-type character — a tough female cop who ends up in bed with the main character because, well, that’s the point of females in action movies, right? There’s also the dumb opportunist best friend whose idiotic moves are the cause of the whole mess. And you have a slew of other very stereotypical, expendable characters. The good guy of course gets off scot-free because he’s so much more clever than professional drug dealers and mobsters, and obviously the police aren’t smart enough to figure out that something fishy is going on. What probably bugged me most of all, though, was the rampant swearing. I get that they’re all tough and whatnot, but the constant F-bombs and G–d—its were distracting and unnecessary and just made me think that every single character was a complete moron.
What I DID like about it, though, was the first-person narrator’s somewhat witty humor. It made him seem more human and more likable when he was doing ridiculous things like quoting movies and lyrics to popular songs and trying to come up with pithy one-liners. Throughout the novel, he mentally bantered with an alter ego that took on the personality of his best friend — a clever way of conveying what was going on in his head through dialogue.
I would not have picked up this book had it not been for the author’s name on the cover, and I can’t say I’d ever want to read anything like it again — it’s simply not my kind of book at all.