Friday, February 04, 2011

REVIEW: "Fruitbasket From Hell" by Jason Krumbine

Alex Cheradon is a PI. He tries to stay off paranormal cases (vampires and the like), but they seem to find him anyway. His latest case offers him a new twist on Hell on Earth as he's hired to track down the whereabouts of Nevada Raines, daughter of the computer billionaire, Steven Raines. After a run-in with a bloodthirsty vampire, Alex is glad to have a case that put a million dollars immediately in his pocket and wasn't likely to involve the undead. Unfortunately, there's just the little matter of the Satanist cult, a vampire nest, and a little visitor named "Pookie" to contend with. If Alex can stay alive long enough, he just may save the world.

With a certain quirkiness reminiscent of Janet Evanovich's  "Stephanie Plum" series, Jason Krumbine has created a bizarre cast of characters: Alex, the Private Investigator who manages to stumble through cases by pure luck, Nicky, the metrosexual secretary who is more interested in clothing choices than cases, Christian, the not-quite-alive ex-partner who seems hell-bent on killing Alex (well, it's not Christian's idea, it's those pesky voices), Angie, the ex who gets hired to be Alex's bodyguard but just may want to kill him herself, and all the wacky clients who hire Alex under false pretenses. The plot is a frenzied and outlandish race as Alex tries to find Nevada in time to save the world from Pookie.

Written like a rambling from someone's brain (complete with frequent and extensive parenthetical comments), the writing style is quirky and somewhat fun at first, but begins to become somewhat grating towards the end. It's difficult to judge the writing style, as the run-on sentences, sentence fragments and oddly formatted sentence structures seem to be created by design, not accident. It's a quick, amusing read, but a bit like being in the brain of someone with an attention disorder. Slightly out of context, there are a few comments that come off as simply racist. I couldn't quite figure out if they were meant to be funny, but they just seemed out of place.

Just compelling enough to keep you reading, "Fruitbasket from Hell" a quick and goofy ride through someone's subconscious.

3 /5 stars

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