"Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested." (Francis Bacon)

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Six Bad Things

TITLE: Six Bad Things
AUTHOR: Charlie Huston

Okay, I haven't updated my current reading. And now that I'm going on vacation and won't be reading, I'll wait til I get back.

This is the sequel to Caught Stealing, and the second in what's said in the next book to be a trilogy. I'm not sure what it says about me that I love Hank Thompson, the protagonist of these books. Hank has done bad things. Many of them involving ending people's lives. In the first book, he ended up in deep trouble after helping a casual friend, not knowing the guy had ripped off mobsters to the tune of millions. In this book, Hank has been living in Mexico, trying to maintain a low profile given his notoriety in the US. But of course, in this noir realm, things don't work out and Hank is forced to return to the States to protect his parents.

More people die, some by Hank's hand. Some deserve death, others don't, and given how dark Hank has become and his weaknesses (addictions), I shouldn't like him, but I do. His narration is as sprightly as it was in the first book, he's surrounded by another fun and funky cast of characters, and his situation is as dire as the first. In order to survive in a violent world, Hank has to be as violent or more so.

Huston has a strong grasp of character and develops Hank without a false note as the reader watches Hank gradually change into something he doesn't like while remaining sympathetic. After all, given his situation, with people trying to kill him from every direction, who could blame him for being a survivor willing to do whatever it takes, to stay alive and keep his parents safe.

I think the third book will be the first on my reading list when I get home.