Sunday 12 April 2015

Book ~ "Dirty Sweet: A Mystery" (2006) John McFetridge

From Goodreads ~ In the middle of the afternoon on a busy downtown Toronto street a man is shot in the head behind the wheel of his SUV. The killer drives away before the light changes. It could be road rage or it could be a random act of violence. 

It could be but it isn’t. What it is, is opportunity.  For everyone involved. 

The witness, Roxanne Keyes, a real estate agent trying desperately to lease out space in unwanted office space, recognizes the killer - a man who had once looked to rent with her. She figures with this kind of leverage he’ll be a lot more interested now. Except he’s Boris Suliemanov, a Russian mobster in the strip club business, who’s now busy taking out competitors and expanding into drugs and grand theft auto. 

Then there’s Vince Fournier, a cool guy with a mysterious past who might be able to help Roxanne deal with Boris if he gets what he wants. He rents space in her building for his internet porn company but he’s looking for a little more from her. And finally, the homicide squad cops can see their own opportunities in the brazen daytime murder.

Roxanne is having a coffee at Starbucks when she witnesses a murder right front of her.  Roxanne recognizes the driver of the getaway car but when the police question her, she doesn't tell them.  Instead she figures she will use it to her advantage ... Boris, the driver, had been interested in renting office space from her recently and maybe this will convince him to do it.

In the meantime, Roxanne starts dating one of her tenants, Vince, who owns an online porn company.  Together they approach Boris with a proposition which hopefully he can't refuse.

I loved that this book was set in Toronto and didn't try to hide it.  The murder took place at the Starbucks on King Street W.  Roxanne sat on the patio of the Wheat Sheaf drinking a Keith's beer (great patio and great wings).  Stolen cars were loaded onto tankers off Cherry Street, just past the former Docks entertainment centre.  Boris owned a strip club out by Pearson Airport.  Roxanne and Boris have drinks at the Drake, which is in my 'hood.  I've been to the Lion on the Beach pub (now the Stone Lion).

This is the first book I've read by this author, who lives in Toronto.  I really wanted to like it as I enjoy mysteries/suspense and I did for a while.  But I found that the writing could have been tighter and that it dragged with too many mindless conversations.  I didn't like any of the characters so didn't care what happened to them.  By the end of the book, I was bored and just wanted to finish it.  As a head's up, the language is for mature readers and there are adult situations.

I won't be rushing to read more by this author ... just not my style, I guess.

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