Monday, February 29, 2016
Hard-Boiled Heart by Will Viharo
(hb; 2015: sixth book in the Vic Valentine series)
From the back cover:
"Older but hardly wiser, Vic Valentine finds himself in hot water again when he becomes embroiled with a movie star. Hollywood bad boy Charlie wants to make a film about the anachronistic private eye's tumultuous life. But when the alcoholic actor becomes a murder suspect, both Charlie's career and Vic's dreams are put on hold, forcing the duo to flee the fog of San Francisco for the rainy Pacific Northwest. There, Vic becomes erotically entangled with Raven, a voluptuous but vicious burlesque dancer, and is driven to despair by a supernatural stalker, a mysterious sailor statue named Ivar.
"Follow Vic through the mean streets of Seattle as he copes with middle-aged melancholia and confronts the demons from his past that threaten the guardian angels of his future."
The especially sharp editing and lightning-quick pacing in Hard-Boiled makes it one of my favorite Viharo books. On top of that -- keeping with his trademark style -- there are a lot of clever quips, real-life locale settings, as well as neo-pulp-worthy characters, deceit, mystery, violence and, of course, Valentine's horn-dog focus, even when confronted with the probability of pernicious death.
Like the rest of the Vic Valentine series, Hard-Boiled is a great read, own it already. Followed by Vic Valentine: International Man of Misery.
The first two chapters of Hard-Boiled were originally published in Bachelor Pad magazine, a burlesque-, tiki- and hybrid genre-themed periodical. "Private Dick, Public Enemy" appeared in its Summer 2012 "Nightcap Edition" issue. "Space Needle Fix" appeared in its Summer 2013 "Nightcap Edition #2" issue.