Greg's Reviews > Queenpin

Queenpin by Megan Abbott
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Nov 06, 11

bookshelves: crime-fiction, girls-girls-girls
Read from October 21 to 22, 2011

This has been one of the stand-outs in my recent foray into crime fiction. There is nothing necessarily about it this book that really stands out, it's just so smoothly executed that it was a pleasure to read. There was nothing cringe inducing here, the dialogue was stylized enough to hark back to the hard-boiled / noir of the 40's / 50's without falling into parody or made to feel strained. Even though I've read a slew of crime novels lately, and had read some before this past month I still don't feel like I'm that informed about the genre, and everything I say is sort of uninformed nonsense, but I don't think I'm too out of line to say this was a lot like reading a Jim Thompson refracted through Raymond Chandler. All of the tediousness I find in most of the books I've read by Thompson is smoothed over but with all of the good stuff left intact.

The book is about a young woman who takes a bookkeeping job for a seedy night-club with some criminal connections and gets noticed by a legendary mob woman who transforms the young woman into her protege. The surface setting might be a couple of women working some mob operations, but the real meat to the story is the grifting going on between the characters. In my usual recent book report style, the young woman starts a relationship with a degenerate gambler who owes some money to the mob and because of this relationship some stuff happens in the book and the lives of the characters are affected.

One day I will read another Beckett novel and I'll be able to write a different book report, one that will read something like, a man lays in pig-shit, he thinks and nothing much happens.

Shitty book reports aside, this was a fine good read, and I'll be reading some more of Megan Abbott's books soon.
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karen i am borrowing this!


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