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Them dang ol' Korks. Just when you think you've pushed them under, they pop right back up again.
Author J.A. Konrath makes his novel, RUSTY NAIL as a sequel to his first in the Jacqueline "Jack" Daniels series, WHISKEY SOUR. The current villain du jour among Horror, Thriller, Mystery, and Suspense writers is the Twisted Christian, as we've seen repeatedly in everything from Tom Piccirilli's DEAD LETTERS to Michael Laimo's DEAD SOULS. But since religious freaks exist (the on the hour, every hour, world-wide atrocities of insanely murderous Islamics is kind of hard to ignore), they remain fair game.
The plot is even more narrow. It must involve one of two types of criminals and ONLY two types of criminals.
RUSTY NAIL, like WHISKEY SOUR, is about #2.
Fortunately, you don't need to have read the previous book to enjoy this one.
"But Feo," you say. "Doesn't that mean that RUSTY NAIL is an unoriginal unimaginative piece of crap?"
Unoriginal? Yes. Unimaginative? No. Crap? Hell no.
What I'm saying here is, that while Konrath's novels are serving me literary lasagna, he's dishing up some pretty damn good Lit. Las.!
As a writer, Konrath comes from Horror Thriller stock (such is my great belief! Respect My Culture!), so you can believe his 280+ pages of lasagna are stuffed with the garlic of gory, bloody, disgusting crime. There is the "Too hot! Too hot!"* gruesomeness of his villains and their shenanigans. His main character, Jack, will get more than the raw meat of a punch in the face or an "Ow!" bullet to the shoulder (yer lucky! That bullet just missed some vital organs and arteries - like every bullet you've ever taken!). What's more, her friends and partners will come out seriously scathed and have to endure losing copious amounts of sauce and even deal with the bites of missing parts and scars for future stories. And there will also be the extra cheese of a highly unlikely rescue and oddly sappy/happy ending.
*Konrath, true to the form, never wallows in the grue so there is no unpleasant aftertaste.
There will also be the apparent end of the meal that is actually penultimate as it makes way for the strong espresso aperitif!
What I'm saying here is, yes, J. A. Konrath's RUSTY NAIL (and though that is the drink recipe he is giving out with this one, rusty nails DO figure into this story, and not in a neat way. Ick!) is as original as a plate of lasagna. But it is such GOOD lasagna!
So for a dish this tasty, I give it Four Bookwyrms.
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