Is there still room in the marketplace for an old fashioned, manly adventure yarn? If there is, then let me introduce you to "Come Here ... and I'll Show You," a book that nods heavily in the direction of the pulp stories of the 1940s and '50s, but is a modern tale with a lot to offer modern readers.
Top of the list of attractions are the exotic setting of Southeast Asia, and the very interesting central character, an expat American named Edwards. Edwards is a former special forces soldier who stayed in Asia after the end of the Vietnam war. A big, action-oriented guy, Edwards talks like a palooka, droppin' his "g"s as thoroughly as the USAF dropped bombs on the Ho Chi Mihn Trail. He has all the requisite action-man skills, including being adept with firearms, fluent in several languages, and remarkably good at keeping his head in a crisis. And he can take a punch if required. But he also knows his way around a wine list, is recognized and welcomed in fine hotels and restaurants, and has even been seen dancing a time or two. He also has a connoisseur's eye for tall, slender young women of many nationalities -- which is handy, because he seems to be irresistible to them, too. Further exploration of Edwards' backstory could be promising.
Most important, though, is the fact that "Come Here..." is a well-crafted and entertaining story. It's fast-paced, and while Edwards and his associates seemed to spend a fair amount of time driving from one location to another for reasons I couldn't always remember, a shootout or other bit of action would come along at just the right time to keep my attention from wandering. The story itself is full of twists and turns, changing alliances and sudden surprises that, as the back-cover blurbers would say, keep you guessing right up to the final page. "Come Here..." isn't a technothriller, full of satellite imagery and laser-guided bombs, nor are there issues of geopolitics to get in the way. Edwards is a man hired to do a job, and that keeps the story focused and effective. I should mention that while, as suggested above, there's a fair amount of sexual energy flowing, nearly all the follow-through, so to speak, happens off-page. Also, unlike some writers in the hard-boiled genre, author Derek Lantin is not graphic in his violence, nor -- while women on Edwards' team do get into scrapes -- is there any hint of misogynistic "I slapped the dame around some" brutality. In case you were worried.
I rate this as four stars instead of five because Derek Lantin is a first-time author and occasionally it shows. I reckon he sometimes relies on stylistic crutches for Edwards' prose a bit too often. Me, I'm thinkin' a little more variety there woulda paid off some. But that's not a big deal. For a modern take on an old-fashioned style, "Come Here ... and I'll Show You" is an entertaining and fun read, even for readers like me who weren't sure this genre was their slug of rye. Me, I reckon I stand corrected.
One of the other reviews that I read used the term escapist "lad-lit". I love it! If the ladies can use the genre term "chick lit", then "lad-lit" for this type of novel seems entirely appropriate. COME HERE AND I'LL SHOW YOU is enjoyable, adventure based novel in the pulp style of Ian Fleming's JAMES BOND, Mickey Spillane's MIKE HAMMER or Edgar Rice Burroughs' TARZAN and JOHN CARTER OF MARS. It's an easy reading novel loaded to the gunwales with … more
This novel harkens back to the hard-boiled pulp magazines of the 30s and 40s where the hero is always manly, strong and intelligent and the women are always beautiful and horizontally inclined. In this book, our hero is a pulp character, one-dimensional but interesting and the women are all gorgeous and lubricious, their one overriding thought to get the hero into the sack with them. The plot is pretty thin but fun, and the book does give quite a travelogue of Thailand and … more
COME HERE...AND I'LL SHOW YOU takes you into the lives of characters that have to deal with the fact that though they might be good at their professional lives, that doesn't always translate well into other aspects of their lives. The writer allows you to see what happens when the "work day" or career has ended and the individuals have to live and make decisions like the rest of us. It's at that point that they are reminded that it's not always as easy as it looks, similar to those who have to learn … more
Half an hour later I'm still workin' an' I'm makin' good progress. But I get interrupted. The chick is gettin' bored sittin' in bed by herself. She calls out with a real soft voice an' summons me to some more arduous tasks in the bedroom. I slurp down another drink to damp down the fires of lust. "Natalie," I tell her, "I'll be with you in a few minutes. I just gotta finish this last check-list." But she wasn't to be put off. She undulated into the room, came behind me an' put her arms around my neck. Her naked little body seemed to glow in the half-light of the room, her bare arms were silken an' brown. Lights were dancin' in her eyes as she pouted an invitation to me. "Pleease..,." she purred. By that time I was pawin' the ground for it. All I could do was get my kit off an' jump into bed.