Friday, May 7, 2021

Review: Shabby Street

Shabby Street Shabby Street by Orrie Hitt
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was Orrie Hitt's fourth novel and it's a serrated knife. Johnny Reagan is the first-person narrator and Hitt gave him a hard-boiled style and used it to show what a right bastard Johnny is. He has zero redeeming qualities - unless you count how hard he works at being a lying, cheating, thieving SOB -and he's proud of it. So this is a great little joy-ride with Johnny at the wheel. As usual with Hitt's books we get the inside look at some scammy business. This time it's insurance agencies selling crap policies. Johnny starts up a couple of agencies, each one to bail-out what he stole from the last one, so there's the plot driver of him constantly having to raise cash to replace money he stole. Then there's Janet and Julie and Beverly and Cynthia. The first two he wants, the third he marries, and the last is sort of his partner in crime. Plot complications galore as Johnny chases and juggles his activities with these four women. Really enjoyed the edginess in this one. It's kind of what was lacking in some of the other Hitt books that I've rated lower. Has the same corny metaphors, the kind that clunk up the other books, but the difference here is that the rest of the writing is clean and tough and driven by a strong voice.

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