Read from 1-8 June, 2017
Synopsis: A salacious throwback to the detective pulps of the 70s, Hex-Rated kicks off the new urban fantasy series the Brimstone Files.
Fall, 1970. Los Angeles has always been a den of danger and bliss, but even darker tidings brew in the City of Angels. Cults, magic, and the supernatural are leaking into the worlds of glamour and dives of the gutter. To the spectators walking down Hollywood Blvd, it’s just more proof that La La Land is over the cuckoo’s nest. But to former child magician and Korean veteran turned newly-licensed private investigator James Brimstone, it means business is picking up.
After attending his mentor’s funeral, Brimstone signs his first client: Nico, a beautiful actress with a face full of scars and an unbelievable story of sex, demons, and violence on the set of a pornographic film in the San Fernando Valley. The cops chalk it up to a bad trip from a lost soul, but Brimstone knows better.
He takes the case, but the investigation goes haywire as he encounters Hell’s Angels, a lost book of Japanese erotica, and a new enemy whose powers may fill the streets of L.A. with blood. He’ll have to us his Carney wits, magic tricks, and a whole lotta charm to make it out of a world that is becoming . . . Hex-Rated.
Bookish Things: 336 pages. The cover is a bit boring, but does go with the tone of the book. This is the first book in the Brimstone Files Series.
Where to buy: Amazon on kindle for $10.70.
Perhaps the 70s just wasn’t for me?!
The concept of this book is intriguing, and should have kept me voraciously reading this book.
But it didn’t.
James Brimstone is a strange fellow, I didn’t love or hate him, but I also didn’t connect with him, which ultimately pushed me out of the story.
The thing that really irked me was the writing. I found the overly descriptive prose to be tedious and took far longer to read and understand than if the book had’ve been written in plain English.
An example (the whole book is like this!):
Brown bags littered the gutters like the corpses of squashed rats. The air fluttered with the launching of a dozen different burger wrappers that danced in and out of traffic like kamikaze birds.
This was an unproofed ARC, I noticed copious errors that need to be corrected before publication.
Overall, an interesting magical idea but the story tries too hard to be groovy and delved too far into kitsch realm to be entertaining.
It might appeal to those who enjoy PI stories who can stomach a hefty layer of cheesiness and a dash of magic and general mayhem. Just not my thing…
**Note: I received an electronic copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.**