You Killed Wesley Payne by Sean Beaudoin

Dalton Rev is a private detective who solves cases for anyone who can pay. And that's how he ends up at Salt River High, investigating an alleged suicide involving a body strung up with duct tape. With his Private Dick Handbook full of helpful guidelines (e.g. Rule #7: The weaker the play, the weaker the bluff. Also, never trust a redhead) and his extensive knowledge of all the Lexington Cole mystery novels (a detective series that Dalton uses as an instruction manual), Dalton is sure he will get to the bottom of the mystery. All he has to do is survive masked snipers, an evil principal, murderous cliques and his mom's curfew.
This is a satirical noir mystery, whose characters and language remind me the Dick Tracy comics and films (except set in a modern day high school). There are plenty of references to classic hard-boiled mysteries and movies (e.g. there's a mysterious guy named Elisha Cook) and some really over the top statements (e.g. "It's not complicated. Add killer, subtract body, solve for x. What can I say? It's a career."). I found some of the writing pretty funny -- especially whenever Dalton finds himself in complicated situations and recalls lines from his Lexington Cole novels: "In Forty Leagues Under Berlin, Lex Cole had been trapped in a German pillbox with nothing but a spoon. In Right Cross, Mob Boss, he'd fought off a gang of hopped-up Zoot Suiters with a leather wing tip. Neither scenario was much help now".
This isn't one of those nail-biting thrillers, but it does have lots of dialogue that keeps the story moving. I think those who are a little more familiar with hard-boiled mysteries/movies and appreciate parodies might enjoy this.

Email Facebook Twitter Favorites More


Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...