Colfer, Eoin - 'Screwed'
Daniel. I hope you are not conversing with your guns. Remember we talked about this. It is not healthy to attribute blame to a rifle.
Cloisters, Essex County, New Jersey.
Eoin Colfer is famous for his children's/young adult's books and in particular for his Artemis Fowl series. His first adult thriller, PLUGGED, featured Irish ex-pat and ex-soldier Dan McEvoy working as a New Jersey casino "bouncer". I enjoyed the plot, pace and rapid-fire wit of it. Now we have a follow-up - SCREWED - which does not disappoint either. Be warned that the wise-cracking language sometimes becomes so convoluted that you have to hang on to the plot by your finger nails. But there is plenty of plot to hang on to. We revisit Daniel, back on familiar New Jersey territory, trying as always to get out from under Irish Mike's killing thumb. This time he is also trying to get away from murderous cops whilst delivering a package to a touchy gangster and searching for a missing aunt - the last of his family and a woman he remembers fondly for taking his young self under her inebriated wing. The resources that Daniel possesses are his ex-soldiering skills, his untrustworthy wheeler-dealer friend Zeb, his psychiatrist's "tweets", and his determination to live and enjoy the trappings of a normal-ish life which are his casino, his work partners and his crazy girlfriend Sofia.
SCREWED is a fast-paced, witty and gritty thriller. Daniel has seen enough of life as a UN Peace-keeper in Lebanon for it to have taken its toll so the book has a tough edge to its comedy. But it provides a welcome dose of black humour and fast action if one has spent a little too much time immersed in the gloomier reaches of crime fiction. Happily there are enough characters and hints of unfinished stories here to ensure that Daniel's return is inevitable - and eagerly awaited by me. I thoroughly recommend it.
Lynn Harvey, England