It’s amazing how a year without work has the ability to alter a person’s sense of well being. A victim of the above-mentioned circumstances, Private Investigator (PI) Derek Lasker is one level short of living on the street. An out-of-the-blue phone call from Bob Linehan gets Derek temporarily out of his funk. Bob hires Derek to keep 24-hour tabs on Junior, his seventeen-year-old son, since he is certain that Junior decapitated the next-door neighbor’s cat. Toward the end of the first day of the investigation, a twist in the case results in the termination of Derek’s assignment. Regardless of the case’s outcome, Derek inconspicuously continues the investigation. But just as he is at the cusp of solving the case, Derek has to re-think his evidence when a chain of unexpected events with sinister underpinnings is revealed.
Brock reshapes the traditional gumshoe persona in his debut noir novel. Set in Toronto, Canada, Brock’s first-person plot features Derek Lasker, a quasi-typical loser PI who feigns a tough outer shell. Yet underneath the artificial display is a man with a penchant for classic literature, such as the works of Shakespeare, Orwell, and Kafka. Brock surrounds his principal character with a tight and colorful cast of characters who serve for the most part as foils; many of these foils are just plain bullies. Nonetheless, Derek always finds a way to either work around or with these surly characters while attempting to bring his case to a close. Brock’s narrative is a pleasant mix of conventional and not-so-conventional hard-boiled noir, which includes a good deal of captivating dialogue and a pinch of banality amid a heavy surge of mystery-laced twists and turns that is all woven together with light humor. This balanced combination is certain to become a new favorite for noir aficionados. Obviously, since Vicious Dogs closes on a cliffhanger, fans should be on the look-out for its sequel, tentatively named String Theory.
This page was created by an SFBR staff member.
|Page Count||223 pages|
|Publisher||Run Amok Books|
|Amazon||Buy this Book|
|Category||Mystery, Crime & Thriller|