Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Extinction Event-David Black

The Extinction Event
David Black
Forge, May 2010, $25.99
ISBN: 9780765322616

Lawyer Frank Milhet picks up hooker Jean Gaynor in the Dutch Village Motel Bar jut north of Niverville, New York. While they have sex and crack, his law firm partner at Milhet & Alvarez Jack Slidell receives a strange call in which his response is he is on the way. He goes to the dive where Milhet and Gaynor were having sex and sniffing only to find Frank dead and Jean out cold. Two cops arrive soon after Jack entered the room and arrest Slidell based on his being at the murder scene, but let him go as they do not have enough to hold him for long.

Apparently someone laced the cocaine with cyanide; the cops still suspect Jack. Meanwhile he is fired, but though depressed he refuses to give up. Encouraged by beautiful legal newcomer with Manhattan connections Caroline Wonder, Jack investigates the homicide; applying skills he developed years ago before law school while at the NY Daily News. His efforts assisted by Caroline lead to the mob and the Feds chasing after them Others soon die too, but in spite of several beatings and a knifing (and twelve-speed sex) Jack and Caroline cannot quite connect the grid.

This is an action-packed noir that readers will enjoy even though the story line is sub-genre centric in every nourished way. Readers will root for Jack who wonders if he fell through Alice’s hole, to end up at the Mad Hatter’s tea party. Filled with eccentrics, Noir fans will enjoy The Extinction Event wondering like the lead duo on the run (except for interludes) what the motive for the serial killings starting with Milhet could be.

Harriet Klausner

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