Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Plugged by Eoin Colfer

This is by the author of the middle-grade Artemis Fowl fantasy series, but it is adult, with an overload of violence and one graphic sex scene. It features an Irish Army vet named Daniel McEvoy now living in New Jersey and working as a bouncer at a casino. It's noir and comic, with nice touches like several characters, including the protagonist, concerned with hair plugs (one source of the title), and two main mysteries: who murdered the hostess Daniel had had a relationship with, and where is the friend Daniel thinks is probably dead--and who he carries on a continual conversation with inside his own head. There are tough cops, a gang boss, and other assorted weird and violent types, just as there should be.

The violence is everywhere, and so are the wisecracks. Some of this is good, and some is just plain overdone. When you make almost every line a wisecrack, you strain both quality control and your reader, and comic or not, some of our hero's physical feats make it hard to suspend disbelief. There is a sense here that the author tries too hard. I went back and forth between enjoying and being distracted by things that were too much or just didn't seem right. Some readers will land more on one side of this split reaction, some on the other.

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