Friday, January 25, 2013

Book Review: Double-D Double Cross

“I needed a cold shower.  Or a hot woman.”

    If you’ve read my reviews, you know one of my favorite active writers out there is Christa Faust.  I don’t remember when I stumbled across her blog, but I know it was quite a while back, ’cause I remember when she announced her first Hard Case Crime book (check out Money Shot!).  I was hooked wicked fast (still living in Maine at the time), and started grabbing everything I could.  Though I never did find that Snakes on a Plane novelization.  I gotta get on that.  Anyway, a couple years ago (I think it’s been that long), she put out hard boiled lesbian detective e-book. It meant little to me at the time, as I’m a lover of the printed page and had no ability or interest in the whole digital book business.  Buuuut, eventually, the e-book craze did capture my attention when I borrowed a friend’s Nook and was able to get a bunch of classic science fiction you just can’t find in print (at least, not at prices I’m ever going to be able to pay).  An then, I was able to get Faust’s crazy alternate world crime novel Hoodtown, which I’d been searching for in print for a dog’s age.  Anyway, fast forward a spell and I now possess a Nook myself, and my first book had to be something from Faust.  The first e-book adventure of Butch Fatale I got when I supported her Kickstarter project for book two.  That’s right.  I’m a patron of the arts.

    Again, if you’ve read much I’ve written, and certainly if you’ve ever met me, you know I’m a pretty square guy.  I once said of myself (and I think it’s still true) that if they ever ran out of vanilla extract, they could just use Matt extract and nobody would notice.  But I know it’s a big world out there, and while I don’t always understand it, I know there are a lot of different ways of living, and as long as everyone is legal and consenting, it’s all jake with me.  I don’t seek out LGBT material, because frankly, I just don’t care.  So, this marks my first excursion into the world of lesbian fiction, if there is such a thing.  That kind of implies that there might be lesbian earth science, or lesbian SAT guides.  Anyway, I mean, it’s fiction and it features a lesbian lead.  And a hefty amount of graphic, sweaty sex with no dudes present.  Does explicit sex push it into the realm of erotica?  I wouldn’t think so, but I don’t know how such things work.  Whatever the case, it also features all the gut-punching, ball busting, eye gouging violence and pulp flavored toughness fans of Faust should expect.  For me, Christa Faust is like reading Christopher Hitchens.  I’m not so much worried what she’s writing about, I just like the way she writes.

    I can never remember which author (was it Chandler?) had that great line about writers block.  Something like, ‘if you’re not sure what to write, have a hand come through the door with a gun and start shooting.’  It feels like Faust may have taken that idea and made it her First Commandment.  The book is not long.  Less than 200 pages.  And it moves at an extremely fast pace.  Part of the reason is that well before a scene begins to lull or a conversation starts to run long, something awful and violent happens.  Gun shots, saps, scary dudes with nice watches...Kevin.  Well, Kevin was pretty cool, actually, in that Mark Wahlberg/mentally challenged puppy kind of way.  It hurls at you like a speeding train.  There are a lot of twists and turns and action sequences packed into a small page count.  And though sometimes quite grim and bloody, the whole thing has a lighter, more wry tone than say, Choke Hold, which nearly put me in a depression (so good, but so relentlessly brutal).  The final beach chase of Double-D Double Cross would probably have me doubled up with laughter if it were a movie, which couldn’t be said for any part of Choke Hold (I’d need a shower, steel wool, and a healthy bosom to burry my face in and cry if I saw a movie version of that).  If you’ve enjoyed Faust’s other work, you should find plenty here to love.  And I’m looking forward to Butch Fatale’s next outing.

Double-D Double Cross: A Butch Fatale Caper
Author: Christa Faust
Format: e-book



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