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Death on a Dime (Southside Hooker Series)…
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Death on a Dime (Southside Hooker Series) (Volume 1)

by Baer Charlton

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212,551,640 (3.5)1
Recently added byAuntieClio, wtrgodss

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This first paragraph got my attention. There’s something about a guy driving a fork into another guy’s hand at a diner which will make me sit up. Especially if the guy with the fork thinks he’s protecting someone else. And then, it turns out, he’s misjudged.

The other thing which caught my attention is that Death on a Dime is set in my neighborhood. Not one I used to live or work in, but the actual neighborhood my apartment is in. Down to street names. “This is going to be interesting,” I thought. I wanted to read on to see if Charlton got it right, and kept it right.

Yup. Almost every street and turn Hooker and his revved up tow truck, Mae West, took was familiar to me. Those not familiar to me either don’t exist anymore or are in a part of the Bay Area I’ve not gotten to yet.

My subjective nits are this: the description of the tow truck, its construction, its makeup and all those gears got boring. It might have gear heads enthralled, but it meant nothing to me and did little to move the story forward. The neck nuzzling grossed me out. Any man trying to do that to me is sure to get an elbow to the belly.

As I said, those are subjective. I doubt Baer Charlton needs me to be his story editor. The only objective nit is the number of typos and grammatical errors I kept encountering in this ebook. Chaplin is the name of an actor named Charlie, not the person who gives spiritual guidance to people in hospitals. That would be a chaplain.

Death on a Dime really picked up steam in the latter half with a clever plot device. I lost a lot of sleep reading because I really wanted to know what the deal was with a person who seemed to be randomly killing cops and has Hooker in sight.

A few chapters in, I was thinking Hooker was another unrepentant bad ass like Richard Kadrey’s Sandman Slim. Nope, I was wrong. Hooker’s tough all right, and he’s young and surrounded by a family of choice which makes up for the terrors of his childhood. We should all be so lucky. Hooker’s bad ass veneer covers a the vulnerability of someone who knows how tough life can be, and how easy it is to give in to the terror.

The cast of characters Charlton gives us is diverse. All hardened by one thing or another, but still alive enough to find joy and whimsy. The scenes with Hooker’s Uncle Willie are something to be admired. A man who wears dresses and works on cars is a hard thing to carry off.

I’m looking forward to reading more of this series, especially to find out how this odd family keeps ticking. ( )
  AuntieClio | Mar 27, 2016 |
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