Dev Haskell, that dysfunctional, bumbling, crazy babe magnet, of a PI is back on the case in yet another whacky yet suspenseful tale filled with quirky characters that are frighteningly too close to real life to be wholly fictional. Dev is to detectives and solving cases what rabbits feet are to good luck. The outcome may be desirable but the rabbit comes out with a limp.Bite Me opens with Dev trying to escape a night of good lovin’ that ends in dawns early light with a violent and insane babe wielding a knife. Dev barely escapes with most of his clothes but he has lost his equilibrium, his car keys and his pride. But, all is not lost. The oddball lover, Kiki helps him land a dream job. Providing security for a couple of whacked out ‘patriot’ radio station operators that don’t need it. They have zero listeners and no callers, let alone threatening wanna be assassins driven to mayhem by listening to their 15 minute, four times a day broadcast of right wing whooey diatribes. But when a few days into the job, the nut cases decide to hold a press conference attended by practically nobody and a drive by shooting goes down, Dev starts to wonder.
Dev decides to investigate the shooting, but when no shell casings can be found, nor a single slug recovered, Dev starts to think something is fishy in radio land. Lulled into a false since of security by the crazy, if voluptuous Kiki, he finds himself once again in a surreal dawns early light. This time tied to the bed and Kiki with a black eye…and he has no memory of the night before after the second drink. Could this be date rape in reverse? Kiki releases him from his kinky bindings and he hits the shower, perplexed about the black eye. But he doesn’t get much time to examine his night of violent love when he is arrested for raping and beating Kiki. Before long, murder will get added to the equation and send Dev on his stumbling way where with a lot of luck and no small amount of detective skills he unravels the case. Along the way he will discover drug running plots and money laundering schemes as well as a list of crimes from bigamy to murder all the while falling into shady bars and the beds of a bevy of beauties, not all of them absolutely crazy, but fatal in their own special way. Oh, and he paints a few walls as well.
Dev Haskell is one of the looniest and most enjoyable characters inhabiting the world of fictional PIs out there, today. Mike Faricy has managed to not only maintain the level of quirky and humorous entertainment to be found from novel to novel, but to add a level of edginess that lends a seriousness to the laughs in a way that masters like Carl Hiaasen and James W. Hall have previously occupied by themselves. Wry, cynical humor and a noirish flavor that just gets better from book to book are Faricy’s stock in trade and will make the reader go looking for the next installment from the Minnesota native who splits his years between St. Paul and Dublin, Ireland. When not writing, researching and plotting Dev’s next misadventure (and one can easily imagine, spending a few hours at The Spot Bar) he is a reporter and columnist for local publications and also plays bagpipes in the Brian Boru Irish Pipe Band. That last fact may just be the impetuous for his writing. No one ever claimed that a bag piper didn’t need any other source of income to replenish his beer money.
Article first published as Book Review: Bite Me by Mike Faricy on Blogcritics.
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