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Book review: <i>The Car Bomb</i> by T V LoCicero

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the cover of the book

Love him or hate him, Frank DeFauw is with you every night at five and eleven, bringing you the news live to your TV. And everyone in town knows him. But will Frank go all the way in the pursuit of justice, even if it hurts his oldest and closest friends?

The story

Frank DeFauw is a pretty big celebrity in his town. He knows all the major players, and his golfing and drinking buddies are influential men – judges, lawyers, people in government. When he goes to restaurants the best tables are automatically reserved for him, and beautiful women throw themselves at him regularly. People approach him all the time, just for a little brush with fame, or an autograph.

There are a few flies in Frank's ointment. Will Barnes, newspaper columnist, seems to have it in for Frank, laying all his indiscretions bare. Frank's mistress is sick of Frank working overtime, and Frank's wife is just sick of Frank.

Frank knows everything is a bit out of control, but he doesn't care. A car bomb has killed a woman and two kids, and the assumed target, the woman's husband, has drug connections. If Frank can just find the target, he can break a huge story before anyone else.

Frank starts to delve, and stumbles across a doozy. This isn't a simple car-bomb-drug-retaliation case. The implications of the car bomb are wide reaching, and could bring down some pretty big fish. Can Frank uncover the conspiracy, win his wife back, and manage not to get killed?

The style

I LOVED this book. It was a quick read, just two hundred pages. Each chapter was only a couple of pages, and EVERY sentence packed a punch. Tom LoCicero's bio says he's been writing across five decades, and you know what? It shows. It really does. The style is impeccable. Written in the first person limited, primarily from the point of view of Frank, the sentences are short and to the point with just the right amount of noir. It's a bit like Raymond Chandler got a sense of humour. (Bless him, I love a bit of Chandler, but he's a serious man.) It's noir-y in the way that the women are leggy and sexy, the men are suited and ladsy (well, not ladsy, because they're middle aged men. But you know. Ladsy. For middle aged men) and they interact in a manner that is cued from noir. And... and this is important... it works very, very effectively. And I'm saying that as a reader who gets really irritated about sloppy character treatment, particularly of the unthinkingly detrimental characterisation of women. But all the characters, whether or not they dressed snazzy and punched people in bars, or had perky boobs and blow-job lips, were purposeful and proper within the context of the story. WHAT MORE CAN I ASK FOR?

The plot was also faultless. Like I said, the story was short, and I read it fast... particularly because I really, really wanted to know what was going to happen next. Frank is such a charismatic character. Sure, the reader is given cues about the kind of man he is... he's a TV news anchor, a cad, a ladies man. We all know this character generically. But Frank's character brings it to life, and that is skilled authorship. And the way Frank functions within the plot is very important, because while the plot has some great twists and nail-biting action-y bits, the plot could combine a variety of different things and still be awesome, because it's Frank.

What I'm really trying to say is, READ IT, and also, I will DEFINITELY be reading the next book in this series. (Did I mention it's a series? Boom.)

Who is this book for?

Basically anyone. It's got all the right stuff. And I can't stress how easy it is to read. If you downloaded this baby to your kindle you could finish it off in one cross country plane ride.

If you like this book, you would also like...

Well I don't know about you, but I'm probably going to have a go at some of Tom LoCicero's other books.

In short

Title: The Car Bomb
Author: T V LoCicero
Publisher: TLC Media
ISBN: 0615811779
Year published: 2013
Pages: 222
Genre(s): Crime fiction
Review Type: