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Say It With Bullets

1 rating: 2.0
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1 review about Say It With Bullets

Hard Luck Case Gets Mileage By SAYing IT WITH BULLETS

  • Nov 19, 2010
Rating:
+2
As noir goes, there's a bit to enjoy about SAY IT WITH BULLETS, Release Number 16 (with a 'bullet' at least in the title) in the largely stellar run of Dorchester Publishing Company's "Hard Case Crime" imprint. There's Bill Wayne, a wronged man left for dead with a bullet to the back who's come back to the post-War states after his fellow servicemen who were guilty of the crime. There's a shifty girl-from-his-past named Holly Clark, a teacher-and-tour-guide who willingly (but unwittingly) becomes his sidekick and probable partner-in-crime-of-vengeance. And there's even a fortune in buried treasure at the bottom of a mountain lake for the first sucker willing to risk all odds to find it.

Outside of that, "Bullets" fails to fire. Hawked by Hard Case editors as their first 'comic' entry in the series, the novel fails to really reach the level of comedy but admirably achieve smartaleckyness early on and never loses touch. Through Wayne's eyes, the world is a place where nothing is quite as it seems when the men he's hunting start dropping off like flies ... but not by his doing (though, in noir stories, he's bound to get blamed for it ... and he does!). With the sole exception of some terrific zaniness in the book's second half (Wayne visits a small-time casino to hide out from all of the local folks chasing him only to find he can't lose at games of chance, bringing only more and more eyes on him), author Richard Powell does steward's work of keeping this tale quick but only slightly dirty.

The book's cover advertises "first publication in 50 years," and, after reading it, one might be able to figure out why. It's good, but it isn't THAT good that it needed resurrecting alongside other tales from the Hard Case logo.

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