April 02, 2012

Hitman by Parnell Hall

At first, the witty banter of the protagonist Stanley Hastings, made me like this book. But quickly I discovered that witty banter does not make a story complete. The plot has to make sense and be compelling too.

Stanley Hastings is rather surprised when a hitman just shows up at his office, wanting help getting out of the business. But he's also not sure he wants to work for him. But a man's life is at stake and Stanley knows he has to take the case. He just doesn't realize how much trouble it's going to cause him. And getting involved is getting him into tons of trouble, both personally and also with the police. Going from a private investigator to a prime suspect was not in his plans. Of course, neither was getting shot at. But both things seem to happen quite a bit in this book.

I liked Stanley. He was a funny guy. Loves his wife, seems like a decent person, etc. He's a bit oblivious for a Private Investigator, and I'm not sure if the bumbling act was intentional or not. His wife Alice is an even better character. She seems to be the brains behind the operation and I enjoyed that. Although I wish she had a job of her own so she didn't have to rely on Stanley's exploits. The cops and lawyers in the book weren't as awesome as they could have been. In fact they all kind of seemed liked jerks. Of course we were seeing them through Stanley's eyes.

The plot is what disappointed me the most. For one, there was no way you could have seen the ending coming, and that just isn't quite fair when you are writing a crime mystery. Or at least a book that acts like a crime mystery. Everything skips around so much that its hard to keep track of where you are at in the book too. It seems like Stanley is always rushing around to this place or the other and sometimes with no rhyme or reason. I wish it would have slowed down a bit so I could have contemplated what was going on better. A lot of the story was implausible too, as I don't see real life people acting the way the characters did. But hey, at least the writing was funny, although a little course at sometimes. If you don't like cussing and references to sex and female anatomy you probably won't want to pick this book up. Because it has all of that.

I don't think I'd seek out another one of Hall's books, even in the same series. While I enjoyed his humorous writing style it just wasn't enough to make up for the sub par storyline.

Copyright 2007
263 pages

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