Saturday, February 20, 2021

Review: 13 French Street

13 French Street 13 French Street by Gil Brewer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was Brewer's big seller, with more than 1.2 million in sales and, from a literary standpoint, it certainly has some of his best prose. Although I'm more partial to Brewer's propulsive out-of-control style, the best example being A Taste For Sin, but 13 French Street has plenty of forward energy. Overall, I give it 4.5 stars, with the deduct being mainly for repetition, and that is partly by design as the bulk of the action takes claustrophobically place on the second floor of the house. As with Brewer's first novel - Satan Is a Woman - the femme fatale spends the first half of the novel teasing the protagonist - Alex Bland - into an obsessive and near insane frenzy. Once he's hooked the murders begin. A brilliant noir depicting Bland's self-destruction as his conscience is eroded by desire, at first reluctantly, then willfully, and finally under a haze of alcohol as he deliberately tries to drive away the pain he's caused himself by jettisoning his conscience.

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