Charles's Reviews > The Mystic Arts of Erasing All Signs of Death

The Mystic Arts of Erasing All Signs of Death by Charlie Huston
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's review
Aug 29, 2010

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Read in April, 2010

Cleaning with a booster shot of Pulp Fiction. More edginess, More grit. More attitude. More action. More dysfunctional relationships. And yes, more cursing - a whole lot more. In this instance even Pulp Fiction would blush. Is it over the top? Maybe, but it fits the characters and the setting - the dirty underbelly of LA. And, at just over 300 pages Mystic comes in just the right dosage - too much more and it would have worn itself out. Too much more and you might find yourself reaching for the hand sanitizer and disinfectant spray.

I picked the book up after having seen the movie Sunshine Cleaning, assuming the basic theme - characters who out of need and quite by accident find themselves specializing in cleaning up crime scenes. Where that thread played out to a somewhat greater degree in Sunshine Cleaning, it's merely the launching pad for Mystic Arts and what follows.

To his credit I understand the author sees himself as a writer of "pulp" rather than "noir" and rightfully so. I don't think you'll mistake Charlie Huston for another Dashiell Hammett.

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