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Flinch by Robert Ferrigno
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This was good but left out some things. First of all, it turns out that Jonathan is the Eggman. But why did he become a psycho? Why did he choose the name Eggman? Why all this competition with Jimmy? None of these questions are answered. There was too little background. We’re just expected to chalk things up to sibling rivalry. The title comes from some sick game they played while kids where one brother would attack the other (with a knife or something) and if the attackee flinched, he would lose.

The way the author drew Jonathan’s character was very subtle. Nothing overt, just short, quietly brutal scenes of psychological jousting where Jonathan came off as unbearably arrogant and at the same time, intimidated by Jimmy. Jimmy on the other hand is untouched. So used to the game by now that he doesn’t feel any of the barbs aimed at his psyche.

I couldn’t get a real fix on Jimmy’s character. At one moment he was a sneaky, tabloid reporter whose morality was made of elastic. The next he was a rough and very physically capable thug, comfortable with guns and violence. Then he was the unsure suitor – was Jane his type after all?? Very strange.
  Bookmarque | Jun 13, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0375401253, Hardcover)

Penzler Pick, August 2001: His previous thriller, Heartbreaker, was a smooth slam-dunk of a novel. Now Robert Ferrigno is back with his sixth book--and he's still making it look easy. Those who don't already know Ferrigno's work-- especially fans of Elmore Leonard, Daniel Woodrell, Robert Crais, and Carl Hiaasen looking to broaden their horizons--should check out this tale of sibling rivalry and serial murder in sunny, sinister Los Angeles.

Jimmy Gage, the hero, is a journalist, and a hard-working one. But when he's on the job, he doesn't cover school board meetings, mayoral press conferences, or even Lakers games. If a story doesn't have some angle that can sharpen his skewer, offering new ways to puncture the pompous, satirize the starstruck, or engineer an exposé, he'll move on to the next lurid opportunity. He's also a take-no-prisoners film reviewer, which is the same as being loathed and feared in a town where just about every dental hygienist has a script in turnaround. And in case these responsibilities are not keeping him busy enough, Jimmy writes a column slugged "Media Whore" for his employer, the wholly disreputable SLAP magazine.

Savvy readers probably won't be shocked to find beneath Jimmy Gage's jeering exterior a highly moral guy whose cynicism masks--as cynicism often does--an all-too-vulnerable romantic soul. Unfortunately, when a vicious serial killer calling himself "The Eggman" starts sending Jimmy boastful letters about his crimes, the police see it only as a tabloid tease set up by Jimmy himself.

Flinch is a terrific title for a story in which every character is an antagonist of at least one other. Why is Jimmy Gage sleeping with his brother's wife? And why is his brother making a strange set of Polaroids appear and disappear? Who is going to look away first? Whose self-control is out of control? You'll have to read it to discover the answer. --Otto Penzler

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:05:43 -0400)

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"At the center is Jimmy Gage, a tabloid writer for Slap magazine who's been contacted by someone calling himself "The Eggman," a serial killer who has laid claim to six unsolved murders around Los Angeles - except the whole thing is declared a publicity hoax by the police, who've branded Jimmy a publicity hound." "But then a year later, crime-scene photographs of the murders turn up in the possession of Jimmy's brother, Jonathan, a high-profile plastic surgeon. Although Jimmy acknowledges that this makes Jonathan a suspect, he also realizes that this might be simply one more round in the psychological games the brothers have been playing - and Jonathan mostly winning - since they were children. It's a twisted sibling rivalry newly charged by Jonathan's recent marriage to Jimmy's former girlfriend.". "Throw into the mix Jonathan's impeccable standing in the community (as compared to Jimmy's lack of one) ... the female detective who can't decide which brother to believe ... and the thugs, con-artists, baby-faced brainiacs, and hard-edged women who are potentially lethal distractions in Jimmy's life." "But the distractions will have to wait: Jimmy's committed to discovering the identity of the killer, and no one gets a better pay-off from his obsession than the reader of this edgy, fast-forward, unstoppably entertaining novel."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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