AUTHOR: EOIN COLFER
Details: an Daniel McEvoy story
This was my first book by Eoin Colfer. My daughter has read and loved all the Artemis Fowl books though, I've met the author at a book signing and liked him and his sense of humour and I am a fan of the crime genre, so this book seemed a save bet. And I wasn't wrong.
This is a action packed book, but not to be taken too seriously with a story that has so much happening in it that I'm not quite sure how to summarize it.
Daniel McEvoy is an ex Irish army sergeant working as a doorman in a low-grade New Jersey casino. His biggest worry is growing bold and he has recently had a hair transplant in the firm believe that all will be fine in his life if only he can get a full head of hair. During the week or so in which this story takes place, his hair will be the least of his worries, although it's never far from his thoughts.
It all starts when his friend and doctor Zeb Kronski disappears and McEvoy ends up killing a known gangster in the man's waiting room. From there things go downhill when a waitress in the casino where he works gets herself killed and McEvoy finds himself being framed for the murder. Soon McEvoy finds himself trying to clear his name for that murder, and trying to find Kronski, with a cop-killing cop as his only ally and gangsters desperate to kill him. And while you might think that this would be enough to bring any man down, it turns out that his army training hasn't been wasted on McEvoy and that the Irish gift-of-the-gab can come in handy in New Jersey.
There is quite a bit of violence in this story which should have made it very dark, but Colfer throws in enough light relief to make this a fun read. Yes there are deaths and blood and fights but there is also the voice of Zeb Kronski talking in McEvoy's head, the obsession with hair loss and a mad neighbour to keep the reader entertained. And McEvoy is a hard man with a heart of gold, who can't help wanting to do the right thing even if it is against his better judgment, which makes him an easy character to like. Think of this book as Jack Reacher meets Stephanie Plum and you won't be far off.
I wonder if this is a stand-alone title or the first book in a series. If it is a series I think Mr. Colfer will need to be careful and not allow the stories to turn into a farce. However, if he manages to keep on getting the balance between violence and humour right, I'd love to read more books staring Daniel McEvoy.