Ed's Reviews > Frenzy

Frenzy by James O. Causey
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's review
Sep 19, 2012

really liked it
Recommended to Ed by: Ed Gorman's blog, I think
Recommended for: fans of straightforward hardboiled crime writing
Read from September 17 to 19, 2012 , read count: 1

If you google James O. Causey, you'll find that he wrote three crime novels (at least one published by Gold Medal) and a fair few science fiction short stories held in great esteem by Asimov, etc. The title Frenzy, perhaps, best describes the overall plotline to this excellent crime novel. Norm Sands, the protagonist narrating, is a low-level grifter who hits Mason Flats in southern California, 70 miles north of Tijuana. Things start popping from the get-go, and the pace doesn't ease up. Just go with the story.

I was amazed by Norm's tenacity and guile to run his different cons, always angling for the inside track. He even screws over his brother Matt and his old high school flame, Laurie. There is a large cast of characters, including the leading politicians of Mason Flats who're just as corrupt as Norm. He soon falls for the high-priced blonde prostitute Shannon who just might be his equal as a low rent and schemer. She is very jealous and possessive as he soon learns.

Lots of fight scenes, both by fists and firearms, spice up the hardboiled action. Shannon and Norm take a boozy trip down to Tijuana for a heroin pick up, and the events turn nastier. Nobody with the possible exception of the crusading Matt is remotely likeable. I see shades of Jom Thompson and David Goodis at work here. Choice fare for any noir and crime fiction fans.
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07/14 marked as: read
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Tuck (new)

Tuck "bobby faye's" is good too , but not sure if that is the same author Bobbie Faye's Very (very, very, very) Bad Day

message 2: by Ed (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ed Tuck wrote: ""bobby faye's" is good too , but not sure if that is the same author Bobbie Faye's Very (very, very, very) Bad Day"

Thanks for the recommendation, Tuck.


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