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29 August 2013

Frank Hughes: The Vodka Murders

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Good plot but could have been better
This novella again features "hero" Nick Craig from the exciting James Bond genre action-packed "Devil's Run". Nick is "in transition" recovering from his stressful experiences on the Devil's Run but also because he is out of work as the security firm he worked for went out of business when his boss was killed (see the previous book).

Nick is woken at 5.30am by two NYPD Homicide cops investigating an overnight contract killing of someone who had Nick's old business card in his pocket. The victim had sent Nick a package and he is nearly killed collecting the package from a Fedex courier. This takes Nick into the world of the mob, a contract killer and connecting again with John Roma, a very senior FBI agent. Nick's wisecracking personality is quickly apparent and this time I was glad to see that he was able to exercise his very positive libido.

The plot all looks good but I really didn't connect well to what was happening because it was a fair way into the book before I realised that the lead character was Nick Craig. The first chapter didn't mention his name until a Detective called him "Mr Craig" well into the chapter. There was little background to Nick's experience and skills as he plunged deeper and deeper into his investigation, and the sudden appearance of John Roma to help him is not really explained.

With a bit of editing to make things easier to understand this would be a pretty good novella.

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