Wednesday, May 21, 2014

I Lost My Heart in Hollywood / Diary of a Dick, by Will Viharo

(pb; 1995, 2011: fourth and fifth novellas in the Vic Valentine series)

From the back cover:

"I Lost My Heart in Hollywood chronicles the strangest case yet in the so-called career of Vic Valentine, Private Eye, as an unlikely tryst with the B movie scream queen of his dreams, Velma Vale, leads him down a dark, twisted path of paranoia, voyeurism, degradation and death.  The bizarre action heats up even as his burning loneliness and simmering sexual obsessions flare at the forefront of his tormented consciousness, with caution and common sense cooling idly on the backburner.


"Diary of a Dick tells further tantalizing tales of Vic chasing tail while allegedly on the trail of True Love, all the way to New Orleans and back again, as the femme fatales of his past and present suddenly converge with prurient promises of promiscuity.  As always, strings are attached to these erotic escapades, but the ties that bind begin rapidly unraveling, and Vic is left hanging by a thread like a doomed puppet.  The mysteries of love have never been more elusive."


Lost and Diary read more like sexploitation novellas than straightforward pulp/mystery works, although there's a strong element of mystery (along with deadly violence, Viharo's funny sense of wordplay and lots of lust) in both novellas.  There's also a lightness that wasn't present in the last Vic Valentine novella, the (understandably) grim Romance Takes a Raincheck, making these newer works stand out even more.  And, as with his earlier Vic Valentine stories, the characters, events and other elements that formed the storylines of previous novellas reflect and (further) shape the characters, moods and events of Lost and Diary.

Lost sports a claustrophobic, too-out-there-to-be-coincidental sense of cinematic-scripted conspiracy; Diary reads like a frak-a-licious, possibly life-changing series of carnal conquests.  This, along with Viharo's effective mixing of genres and love of film (which gets plenty of air time in both works), makes for reads that aren't like anything I've read in a while.

These combined fifth and sixth Vic Valentine stories are fun, sometimes chatty (in a character-true way) works - works worth purchasing.

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