Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Review: Everything But the Squeal by Timothy Hallinan

Robert B. Parker and Robert Crais fans will enjoy Edgar Award nominee Timothy Hallinan's novels featuring over-educated private eye Simeon Grist.

In this third book in the cult series, Grist takes a case that leads him to the phantom neighborhoods of Los Angeles' lost children.

Missing thirteen-year-old Aimee Sorrell ran all the way from Kansas to be a star.

But Aimee's trail soon leads Simeon to the city morgue, the first stop on a perilous journey to find out what happens to America's lost children when they go looking for love in all the wrong places.

From the library

Let me begin by saying that I'm quite glad I didn't actually pay for this or I'd be demanding a refund. As it was, I got it from the library and still feel rather gypped since I had to pay all of fifty cents or so in gas to get there and back.

I've read several of the author's other books and was not particularly impressed by them but they weren't actually bad enough to stop listening to so I decided to give this a try as well.

The problems start about two seconds in with the reader's scratchy, annoying voice. I'm sure he's a perfectly nice person but audiobook performances are definitely not one of his skills. Ten hours of his grating voice made me want to throw my iPod against a wall but I had nothing else to listen to so I persevered.

The "hero" Simeon is still a complete prick. He actually seems to have gotten worse since the earlier books. He's a pill popping borderline alcoholic who is frankly just a rude asshole. Plus, he has developed a charming new habit of torture in this latest volume. I have never wanted a main character to die so much. Really, I'd like to set up an appointment for him with Hannibal Lector. He seems like he could use some quality time with another sociopath. Although I really would hate to inflict his miserable self on Dr. Lector. No one should have to put up with this prick.

Simeon's sidekick for the story - his goddaughter Jessica - was an uber bitch as well. A whiny thirteen year old she was born with a silver spoon in her mouth and was a complete and utter nightmare. She'd be right at home in the backstabbing evilness of Gossip Girl. She is just a miserable human being and each and every scene with her left me wanting to smack her. I found myself gritting my teeth and pondering a wonderful future for her where she ends up in Orange Is the New Black.

The story itself was marginal and I can't even really call it interesting but it was tolerable enough that I could suffer through until the end. I suppose I should have cared what happened to the "victim" of the story but she was a miserable human being as well (although, marginally less than the other two) so I didn't have much sympathy for her either.

Overall, this was a borderline waste of time and I would have abandoned it if I had had anything at all else to listen to, but it was tolerable. This is the equivalent of eating a year old Hershey's bar with an unfortunate case of chocolate bloom when you really want a Godiva truffle. It's okay and it won't make you sick but it's not an enjoyable experience. Needless to say I really cannot recommend this.

☆☆☆☆ = Didn't Like It

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