Best Noir Fiction Mystery Novels Reviewed ByBookViral

"A highly enjoyable, intelligent and escapist read..."

Noir Fiction Mystery
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  • ASIN: ‎ B0C92RW97K
  • Publisher: ‎ BQB Publishing (22 Jun. 2023)
  • Language: ‎ English
  • Print length: ‎ 268 pages
  • Page numbers source ISBN: ‎ B0C8CBLC2C
  • Genre: Noir Fiction Mystery


The BookViral Review:

“That was the business Bud was in. Hitting the mean streets and blind alleys came with the territory.”

An intensely absorbing mystery thriller that fires on all cylinders, “Fast Times, Big City” is one of those rare novels that promises much and succeeds in delivering it.

Filled with shadows both literal and figurative, “Fast Times, Big City” elegantly combines the hard-edged pessimism, crackling banter, and edginess of classic noir fiction as Shelly Frome takes us back to New York in 1959.

An atmospheric read Frome writes with the authoritative voice of experience and it’s to his credit that his plot stands in contrast to many of today’s mysteries which often seem simple-minded and lacking in genuine depth.

For Bud Palmer, a Miami-based sportswriter, there is a profound disconnect between his reluctant role as a leg man for the mob and what is really happening but “Fast Times, Big City” isn’t one of those mystery novels in which so many cryptic things occur amid over the top plotting that the mind becomes utterly confused. Instead, “Fast Times, Big City” generates its suspense precisely because it appears so reasonable, and because Bud takes such a calm, methodical approach to the maddening events in which he’s found himself embroiled.

Intelligent in its broad strokes Frome doesn’t allow detail to overwhelm his narrative and whilst another author might have left us adrift in a sea of coincidences and auspicious breaks Frome keeps it straight with a clever plot and well-conceived twists. It’s easy to identify the good guys from the bad, it’s taut and well-paced, and a reminder of how absorbing a good mystery can be.

With a host of powerful and affecting characters like Ed, Escobar, Larkin, Scooter and Amy we understand not just their motivations but the emotions that drive them. Equally as important, Frome knows how to incorporate detail in a way that unspools naturally whilst he ratchets up the tension.

As plot threads come together, which include a looming Mob meeting and the Cuban Revolution it has the confidence and momentum of a novel where every scene has been polished to perfection as the realities of time and place set Bud on a different path to the one on which he embarked.

A highly enjoyable, intelligent and escapist read, Fast Times, Big City is sure to meet the expectations of genre junkies and is an unreservedly recommended.

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