I read all kinds of novels. And I’m always in search of new authors to check out, hoping to find the next writer that I just can’t stop reading. So, when I received a free copy of the upcoming release Is Fat Bob Dead Yet? from NetGalley in exchange for a review, I couldn’t pass it up. I was too curious.
After all, if the title doesn’t get your attention, the cover definitely does, right?
Here’s the quick blurb of a description so you know what it’s about…
In the seaport city of New London, Connecticut, newcomer Connor Raposo has just witnessed a gruesome motorcycle accident on Bank Street. At least he thinks it was an accident. But then he sees a familiar man–who else would wear an Elvis pompadour in this day and age?–lurking around the crime scene. Where does Connor know him from? And why does everyone he knows keep showing up dead?
It’s about murder and motorcycles, about exes and family and small town detectives that can’t stand working together, regardless of the case they’re trying to solve (after all, isn’t the debate over the value of karaoke more important than interviewing potential murder suspects?). And it’s about the good hearted stupidity of the average person. And…it’s pretty good.
Okay, so it wasn’t completely my kind of story, and I definitely wouldn’t recommend it to everyone, but it’s good to be able to dive into a book by an author who knows just what he’s doing, and has a voice that’s strong and definitive. Granted, he has a few odd ideas, and he does go off the rails a bit by chapter 19, reading like he’d kind of lost his point and was wandering around in circles trying to find his way back. But he does manage to bring it back on point and pulls it together for an overall interesting read.
The characters are fully fleshed out and have their own motivations, quirks, weirdnesses (is that a word? If not, it should be) and insecurities. They’re distinct and unique. And that’s why I gave this novel a 4 out of 5 in my feedback to the publisher. It may not have been enough to convince me to grab another book by this author, but that’s simply a matter of taste rather than a comment on the writing talent.
If you’ve read any of Stephen Dobyns’ other books – and enjoyed them – then I’m sure you’ll enjoy this one as well. If you haven’t, I wouldn’t recommend running out to grab it when it comes out. But if the description grabs your attention and you’re looking for something that’s a bit odd and is overall distracting, it could be worth your time.
And sometimes that’s just enough…