They really are! That is why crime takes pride of place here at Books… and stuff. The inaugural crime review post is Plugged by the vastly talented Eoin Colfer. Better known for his YA books including the brilliant Artemis Fowl series, Plugged is his first foray into the adult crime market. While the age and location of the protagonist may have changed, Plugged is still full of the trademark wit and brilliant repartee that makes his books so brilliant!
At least that’s what Irish ex-army sergeant Daniel McEvoy tells himself
I really know how he feels…
Dan McEvoy has problems; his part-time girlfriend lies dead in the parking lot of the sleazy strip-club where he is the doorman, his best (and only) friend is missing, his crazy neighbour lady starts fixating on him and a chance encounter lands him a dangerous enemy in the form of a local Irish gangster. It starts looking as if his hair plugs are the least of his worries.
I felt my scalp itch sympathetically with Dan’s throughout the novel, phantom itching is bad and I could also identify with his hair-related worries. Plugged is a crime novel laced with humour and humanity throughout. Dan is no emotionless hero blasting his way through faceless goons who exist only to be shot down in a hail of bullets, the bit players are real people even if they were generally unpleasant.
It would be cliché to say that the action never let up (it didn’t), the very human interactions between Dan and the other characters in this tale lifted it above many of the humourless wrong side of the tracks crime tales that pervade the crime shelves these days. Every death is keenly felt (if not mourned) by Dan and as events spiral out of his control, we learn as he does that not everything he knows is as he thought it to be. Through the novel we learn via flashbacks to his youth and military days who he is, where he comes from and why he is driven to do what he does.
Plugged is a thoroughly engrossing novel, there was not an ounce of wasted prose. The humour, violence and old fashioned whodunnit mystery mesh together seamlessly to provide a quick but completely engrossing read!
It is a testament to Eoin Colfer’s skill as a writer that I got drawn in so deeply that I only noticed that I was reading in a mental Irish accent a third of the way through the novel. I must admit that I have not an ounce of Irishness within me, I cannot even fake a convincing accent, but my mind threw up Dara O’Briain’s voice and I ended up seeing him as Dan on the movie screen in my head.
I think he would make a convincing Dan McEvoy… feel free to disagree!