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Holy Death: A Billy Lafitte novel by Anthony…

Holy Death: A Billy Lafitte novel

by Anthony Neil Smith

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Recently added bylink_rae, jayacarl, jjg241, datrappert

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Some caveats: If you haven't read the first three books in the series, you aren't going to know what the hell is going on or who all these people are or what their significance is. If you have read the first three, you are going to wonder what Billy is supposed to be up to and you're going to be amazed or frustrated at the very strange ending--which leads right into the next sequel. It seems Billy is like Jason from Halloween - you can't kill him.

All that may make it seem like this book isn't that good, but that wouldn't be the case. Despite the total nihilism that reigns throughout, Smith creates his violent set pieces with such mastery that you just have to watch. Even better than a good train wreck. The Lafitte series has passed beyond the realm of anything that can be evaluated using any normal criteria. Some people will hate it, and not get past book one (Yellow Medicine). Others will persist and be happy to award the author his meager royalties--BECAUSE THE MAN CAN WRITE. No one can get more mileage out of the pain, suffering, and stupidity of his characters than Smith can, and in this book, there are certainly some characters. In addition to Lafitte, who is worse than ever and a menace to anyone around him, including some unfortunate innocents, we have a waitress-from-hell who falls in (mutual) love with the former Black Gulf Mob (BGM) member whose brother Lafitte killed before the opening of the first book. Although he has given up the mob life and become a successful professional gambler in the ensuing years, he still has to murder Lafitte. He should have read the first three books and moved to Las Vegas instead. The waitress is more murderous than he is, and after all, working at the Waffle House was a pretty dead end job....

We also catch up with Franklin Rome, the obsessive FBI agent who has been trying to catch Lafitte since the first book. I won't spoil that subplot, which is one of the weirder ones I've ever encountered. And there is more. You'll just have to find out for yourself.

So, I'm giving it 3 1/2 stars because despite the entertainment value and the amazing episodes, Smith can still do better, as when he injects a note of seriousness such as in Worm or his Adem & Mustafa series.

I'll be back for volume five, though, I can tell you that. ( )
  datrappert | Mar 14, 2016 |
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