Thursday, March 06, 2014

The Big Kiss-Off of 1944 - Andrew Bergman

The Big Kiss-Off of 1944 is another detective story, but one that feels a little more like what you'd expect from a detective story set during World War II. The detective, Jack LeVine, isn't incredibly successful, but he has his own office, his own actual apartment, a fairly successful relationship with a lady friend, and he only gets knocked unconscious once the entire story.

None of which keeps him from being hired for a blackmail case that ends up revolving around the Presidential election of that year. It doesn't start out that way, but it goes in that direction pretty fast. The story is less about figuring who dun it, and more about how LeVine is going to keep all the balls in the air so that nobody innocent winds up screwed.

I don't entirely buy the actions of several of the characters. They seem written to behave in such a way that LeVine can get off a lot of pithy one-liners, which I expect, and a lot of moralizing speeches, which felt out of place. Also, he refers to himself in the third person, but not all the time. I feel as though if you're gonna do that, then be consistent about it.

Bergman's writing is less humorous than Kaminsky's, but considerably more raunchy. The tone is consistent throughout, so it isn't an abrupt shift, but it's something to keep in mind.

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