Sunday, March 4, 2012

The Suicide Game by Andy Rausch


There is 'noir', and there is 'noir' that is so slick and sly that even Elmore Leonard might be tempted to leap out of bed and look to his laurels.

When five bored rich kids bet each other as to who will be the first to drive an innocent victim of their choice to death, little do they realise that one of those they randomly select in a shopping mall is the Mafia's top West Coast hitman.

How would they know? He is black and without a single fluid ounce of Italian blood in his veins, albeit with gallons of the stuff on his hands.

This hitman may be sad, he may even be ready to die, but he isn't exactly suicidal – more homicidal, definitely more homicidal, you might say.

And he moves at the center of a plot containing a cast of characters which includes Mafia bosses, murderous priests, seedy movie directors, a gay sex-line operator and credulous starlets that brings a wry smile to your face every time a new twist is revealed.

Which is a lot of smiling, and a lot of dying.