Bad Men and Wicked Women

Eric Jerome Dickey. Dutton, $27 (384p) ISBN 978-1-5247-4219-5
Dickey (Finding Gideon) infuses his slapdash but exciting erotic action novel with social commentary and cultural references, somewhat to its detriment. L.A. enforcer Ken Swift, a muscle guy for the shadowy gangster San Bernardino, is surprised to hear from his estranged adult daughter, Margaux, and even more shocked when she demands $50,000 without explaining why. Ken and his Ghanaian partner, Jake Ellis, try to investigate Margaux’s situation, but they pause to make a house call on the incredibly wealthy, laughably odious Garrett, who owes money to San Bernardino. A battle royale breaks out at Garrett’s mansion, showcasing Ken and Jake’s superhuman endurance. Dickey pads his scant story with Jake’s lengthy rants on Afrocentrism, an exceptionally prolonged sex scene between Ken and his unhappy girlfriend, and constant rehashing of Ken’s failed relationships. The story provides plenty of thrilling moments, and contemporary references—including kneeling NFL players, Rihanna’s cosmetics line, and President Trump’s tweets—make the work feel fresh, but the frequent insertion of familiar names eventually grates. The book’s clear expiration date and aggressive messaging make it hard for the reader to stay focused on the action. Agent: Sara Camilli, Sara Camilli Agency. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/02/2018
Release date: 04/17/2018
Genre: Fiction
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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