Saturday, December 24, 2011

Review: "The Perfect Defective: a novella" by Clark Casey

P. I. Jake Hannigan has a “…square jaw and skepticism that can’t be bought on Sundays in Blue Law States.”  (Page 5) That means he has a fondness for alcohol and will indulge that fondness whenever the mood strikes including his own office. That is where Professor Durgen found him on a certain Monday morning.

Professor Durgen teaches writing at a community college when he isn’t working on his novel.  Unfortunately, his novel has been stalled for over two months. He has a huge problem. He’s lost his talent, his creative juice. He’s tried drinking heavily and all that has done is made him write bad poetry. He needs his talent back as soon as possible and wants P. I. Jack Hannigan to find it for him. For twenty bucks a day and all the Johnnie Walker Blue Label he can drink, Hannigan will take the case.

Of course when you are paid by all the booze you can drink, you don’t want to solve the case too fast.  It helps if you get another case you can also stall a bit. The case here that fits the bill is his next client. A sexy cheerleader wants a dead man killed.

The result is a fast and often laugh out loud satirical novella that has the potential to offend just about anyone. Often crude in terms of language between characters, descriptions of characters (attributes of cheerleaders being a major discussion point), and scene setting, the result is an often bluntly coarse read. It is also often funny, especially when Hannigan contacts the agent and discovers that there is a lot of truth to what disgruntled writers have claimed for years.

A twisted and perverted read that will appeal to those with a wide dark streak of humor in them, this fun book is not for everyone. It will especially appeal to writers in general and mystery fans in particular as it takes shots at all the expected conventions of the genre. It most definitely is a change of pace from the serious noir mysteries that seem to be increasingly common these days. Twisted funny and flat out warped, this 56 page read is just fun as it punches out all the detective novel stereotypes one by one while managing to slap the reader upside the head with twist after twist after twist.

The Perfect Defective: a novella
Clark Casey
Some Dead Trees Press (a less idealistic division of No Dead Trees Press)
ISBN# 978-1466284128
Paperback (also e-book via Kindle)
56 Pages

Material supplied by the author in exchange for my objective review.

Kevin R. Tipple © 2011

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