A Little Punch With My Applesauce

21951372The Shill by John Shepphird
My Rating: 3/5 Stars

If I ever need a little punch with my applesauce and pinto beans, I might just have to focus my gaze in the direction of John Shepphird, and hope to heck I don’t blink first. With Jane Innes in my corner, it’d be hard to steer myself in the wrong direction. Sure, she’s had her share of bad luck, but I’d be hard pressed to find someone who hasn’t ran into a door or two in her day, or ended up as a hood ornament on a Chevy Impala in the middle of Sunset Boulevard. That kind of shit happens all the time in LA. If this city is filled with angels, then I must have gotten off at the wrong bus stop. And while it does add a certain amount of tragedy to the situation, it amps up the reading factor by about six or seven.

THE SHILL reminded me of a clown, who was bitten by a rattlesnake, injected with steroids, and then fed human flesh until his ears popped. The pace nearly dropped me over the edge of the cliff, a hail of bullets accosted me from every direction, and an errant branch was my only saving grace that kept me out of a tunnel of water three hundred feet below.

The dialogue had more punch than grace or style, and the prose may have lacked a bit of flowery language. But I don’t need roses and rhododendrons when there are guns and ammo to break my fall. This novella was filled with masculine words and musk and AXE and clipped phrases and femme fatales and seduction and dead bodies and I didn’t want to look away.

Full disclosure: I’m on the hook for a novella with Stark Raving Press.

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