Molls Like It Hot
by Darren Dash
Home Of The Damned

"When I was younger, I got off on violence. Better than sex, in its own way. But tonight I only knew fear."

The wet streets, dark alleys, run-down casinos, and raucous bars of London set the stage for this modern-day noir that has the feel of many of the classics that preceded it. While its hero isn’t a Dashiell Hammett gumshoe or a Jim Thompson loser, he’s definitely cut in the mode of a smart guy who’s dumb enough to get in over his head and noble enough to stick it out when he really ought to cut and run.

Brown is an ex-military bloke who’s making a decent living driving a taxicab. One evening he finds himself on the perimeter of a gun battle in a seedy neighborhood. The blood-splattered survivor originally becomes his fare and later his benefactor when he offers Brown the opportunity to make more money at once than he’s ever had before by simply babysitting a dame for the weekend. As you might expect—if you’re a connoisseur of crime fiction—the babe turns out to be more trouble than a coterie of coked-up nihilists. One thing leads to another, and Brown and his charge are dodging bullets, returning fire, and getting into the kind of trouble it’s almost impossible to get out of. Before the intricate and involving plot ends, both the level of violence and the body count have risen to high tide.

Dash writes wisely and well. He gives his hero a haunted past that is teasingly revealed throughout and made shockingly relevant at the climax. He creates characters who command attention because you’re not at all sure what malevolent mayhem they’re about to engage in next. He weaves a wily tale of double and triple crosses you absolutely won’t see coming. This is definitely a fast, ferocious, and fun read.

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

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