Saturday, May 10, 2014

Review: Hell Up in Houston by Garnett Elliott

Hell Up in Houston is the second book in the Drifter detective series from BEAT to a PULP. Jack Laramie (who happens to be the grandson of western lawkeeper Cash Laramie) is a hardboiled, hardluck PI who ends up at hotel in Houston after his Desoto breaks down. When the hotel detective wants him to cover for a week, Laramie takes him up on the offer--what with his empty pockets and all.

The hotel dick sells the gig as easy-breezy, but of course it turns out to be anything but. This novella reads like a collection of shorts, as Jack moves between multiple, related crimes. No matter what happens, he can't avoid headaches or his nemesis, big-time detective/Houston kingpin Lameaux.

This is highly entertaining stuff. Jack Laramie's a clever, likeable detective surrounded by thugs, morons, and losers. Watching him negotiate the corners of this greasy, convict-filled world is a joy. I'll be digging to other entries in the series soon. 

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