May 13 2012
Dear Ms. Lynn,
Honestly, if someone told me a week ago that I’d be reading a book about a woman with a crappy life who survived a car wreck with only a concussion that now lets her communicate with a pet lizard and that in order to pay the astronomical medical bills pilling up to keep her comatose young niece in a speciality hospital has taken up a mobster’s offer to undertake a hit, I would have told them, “Are you shitting me?!” No, wait that’s not emphatic enough. It would probably have been more like, “Are you shitting me and are you on crack?!” But here I sit having just finished “Confessions of a Slightly Neurotic Hitwoman” and all I can pant is “Give me more!” And, “What happens next?!”
So how did I make the decision to read the book? Jane sent it along with a bunch of others and frankly I needed to weed through them all and clear out the “no f’ing way” ones to make room for the new boxes that arrived. With my mission in mind, I began reading the back blurbs and opening chapters. The back blurb of your book sounded like it could be awful. Settling in beside a towering pile of paperbacks, I dug in thinking, “one chapter and we’re probably done here.” Only the next thing I knew, it was 50 pages later. Let me say that the back cover, while certainly accurate, doesn’t give a hint of the style that kept me compulsively turning pages or the plot that grabbed me by the throat and wouldn’t let go.
You certainly do have a “voice” and I completely enjoyed my time listening to it. But I’ll say that it’s probably not for everyone and that since a lot of people don’t like 1st person POV, that won’t help further the cause much. But I loved it. Maggie is a breath of sardonic fresh air. But beyond the deadpan humor and sarcasm, what kept me reading is that Maggie isn’t always right and certainly isn’t perfect. But her heart is in the right place and she tries. And for her little niece, she’ll do anything even if that means buying live crickets for “Godzilla” Katie’s brown anole lizard pet who speaks to Maggie in the voice of Alan Rickman. Maybe a little too much time spent watching Snape?
The fact that I enjoyed the bizarre paranormal aspects of the plot is amazing since I generally run a mile to avoid them in the books I read. However, “God” as he prefers to be called, is a truly delightful character though I wonder how he and Doomsday will work out the living arrangements. Then again maybe they bonded over the second hit Maggie had to carry out with the help of Patrick the detective/mob hitman? Which leads me to another reason I shouldn’t have liked this book because if there was ever any more rock solid conflict standing between two people who crackle with chemistry, I haven’t come across it. Talk about a fucked up family life that Patrick deals with…And let’s not forget Maggie’s meddling aunts, her father in the State Pen, and her mother in the psych ward – these people have issues.
Some might say you kinda cop out by giving Maggie and Patrick the power to turn down hits they don’t want to carry out or that the two people who are killed in the book are made to be such obvious villains with no redeeming qualities but there are limits beyond which I won’t go in books I read for fun so I’ll accept all this. And reiterate that I can’t wait to find out 1. How crappy the bridesmaid dress Maggie will have to buy will be. 2. If Paul has come into Maggie’s life for the reason I think he has. 3. If “God” will help Doomsday with her grammar. 4. Does he talk to Katie too? and 5. At whose wedding will Maggie have to take out her next hit? I’ll be waiting for answers. B