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Cleaning Up Finn

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4.22  ·  Rating details ·  54 ratings  ·  25 reviews
Life is a constant party for restaurant manager, Finn Roose. When he seduces an underage woman on one of his booze cruises and loses her—literally, it sets off a massive search involving the police, her parents, and a private investigator. Finn is an expert manipulator but his endless lies only tighten the screws on himself and his unsuspecting best friend. Finn scrambles ...more
Paperback, 158 pages
Published May 15th 2016 by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (first published May 13th 2016)
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Average rating 4.22  · 
Rating details
 ·  54 ratings  ·  25 reviews


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Benoit Lelièvre
Jul 03, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
That was quick and efficient as advertised. CLEANING UP FINN reminded me that Dennis Lehane saying that noir is working class tragedy, which was a gross simplification yet it categorizes Sarah M. Chen's novel quite well. The protagonist Finn Roose is not a hero by any means, he's a terrible person who commits injustices knowing he has law on his side and CLEANING UP FINN is the story of law turning upon him. A social and very karmic form of justice.

This is a bare, straightforward, yet efficient
...more
Robert
Mar 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: robert-s-reads
Sarah M. Chen is a lovely woman and a helluva writer. She has got it going on, even if Finn is the antithesis of her in nearly every way imaginable. Finn might be a piece of shit, but his misery makes for some wonderful comedy, and you don’t want to miss this incredible ride in the passenger seat of his boss’s Ferrari.

If you’ve ever been on a date and wondered how it could possibly get any worse, or if you like reading about slimy characters because it makes you feel better about yourself, then
...more
Col
Jun 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016, c
Synopsis/blurb....

Life is a constant party for restaurant manager, Finn Roose. When he seduces an underage woman on one of his booze cruises and loses her—literally, it sets off a massive search involving the police, her parents, and a private investigator. Finn is an expert manipulator but his endless lies only tighten the screws on himself and his unsuspecting best friend. Finn scrambles to make things right which may be too much to ask from a guy who can’t resist a hot babe and a stiff drink.
...more
Bobby McCue
Jul 27, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A solidly written tale from beginning to end. Really liked the pacing, dialog, and scenes.
Beau Johnson
Mar 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ha! Funny how you forget things. I forgot to review this badboy when I finished it. My bad. But even before I knew Sarah M. Chen I knew Finn Roose, questionable as he is. He is not pure, nor is he all bad, but he adds the salt to Cleaning Up Finn, a short but very sweet (and salty) read. Go forth. Seek out. Purchase and enjoy.
David Bridges
Jul 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
All Due Respects is a go to publisher for me to read exciting contemporary noir. I am comfortable enough with them to reach out for new authors and have yet to be let down. An MO of theirs which extends to this excellent short novel is their use of unsympathetic protagonists.

Finn is the manager of a hotel restaurant in Redondo Beach California. He is a pretty typical douchebag who spends a lot of time chasing women and doing douchy things to impress women. Things like borrowing his best friend’s
...more
Dave
The quintessential noir story is where a man falls deeper and deeper into a hell of his own making. It's generally a story where the man falls deeper into quicksand and can't claw his way out.

Cleaning Up Finn fits right into this genre. The lead character Finn is a lowlife scumbag loser who uses his position as the manager of a South Bay restaurant to pick up any sweet young thing who walked in - the younger the better. And uses his buddy's fancy cars and yacht to romance the young innocent. Fi
...more
Jennifer Chow
Jul 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is definitely a noir read. It's got a terrific atmosphere, especially with the name-dropping of the South Bay area. It's also fun and fast-paced. Although Finn Roose isn't the most likable character, you do enjoy going on the journey with him. To me, it didn't feel like a true mystery in the sense that I wasn't really surprised by what happened with the girl. Nonetheless, I really enjoyed delving into the different characters involved, and there were a few twists and turns about how they ac ...more
Steven
Faltered a bit at the end when some of the action and dialogue seemed a bit hokey, otherwise this was a good fast-paced novella. The main technique here is that one bad thing after another keeps happening to Finn Roose. He's a scummy guy and deserves what he gets as the novella goes along. Fits the everyman noir mold - restaurant manager gets sucked into a riptide of crime - except for the ending. Look forward to more from Chen.
James Ziskin
May 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Cleaning up Finn" is a brutally honest story of unlikely redemption. A complex morality tale of debauchery, selfishness, sacrifice, and guilt. This romp of a noir through Southern California's South Bay will stay with you, challenging your ideas of poetic justice and leaving you wanting more from Sarah M. Chen.
David Flinn
Aug 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When you find yourself rooting for a lowlife piece of shit to escape something shady he deserves to go down for . . . you know you're reading something amazing. The only reason I didn't give it a higher ranking is because the dialogue seemed a bit weak to me.
Derrick
Oct 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely loved Cleaning Up Finn by Sarah M. Chen. I defy anyone who reads this tightly wound novella to find anything wrong with it. It has a classic noir main character, death, despair, and—best of all—a full-throttle plot that picks up more and more speed as the plot unfolds.

Phineas Roose (Finn) is a single man who, although he comes from a well to do family, makes his living managing a local restaurant. Although he is quick to point out it is one of the top grossing restaurants within the
...more
Sarah
Jul 07, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sarah-m-chen
Meet Finn Roose, manager of a Redondo Beach restaurant, master manipulator and womanizer. Finn sees life as one big party. Porter, his best friend, allows Finn to borrow his Ferrari and boat at times, which Finn passes off as his own. One night Finn meets Rhonda “Ronnie” Havemeyer at the restaurant and convinces her to go on a sunset sail on his boat the next night. After more than a few drinks on the boat and Finn’s failure to “get it up”, Ronnie gives up, dresses, and goes topside. Finn, being ...more
David Nemeth
Oct 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
Finn Roose likens himself as a player as he hits on female customers of a chain restaurant that he manages in Sarah M. Chen's Cleaning Up Fin (All Due Respect Books). Chen does not paint an appetizing picture of Finn's despicableness and even though he is somewhat a like-able loser, he thinks much more of himself.

Finn's latest target is Rhonda Havemeyer aka Ronnie.
Finn flashed his most charming smile. Oh boy, a college student. How he did love the college students. They were at that ideal ag
...more
Mike Spencer
Apr 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In my book it's an instant classic of crime, dark humor. It's one of the more original crime books you will ever encounter, pure Southern California. The selling point to me is that you might hate the main character but still be massively entertained. That's a hard trick to pull off but Chen knocks it out of the park, or off the boat as the case may be. It's Catcher in The Rye meets Chandler, or something like that.

Finn is an anti-hero, loser restaurant middle manager and skirt chaser. One nigh
...more
Rory Costello
May 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This well-told story rips along and would be easy to devour in one sitting. (It took me two subway rides plus the conclusion at home.) In the short space of a novella, Sarah M. Chen offers a nicely detailed portrait of incorrigible babehound Finn and a distinctive bad girl in Ronnie. I also enjoyed the various secondary characters, especially Tomas and Oscar, and Chen uses her background in restaurant work to good effect. One of the story's core themes is the meaning of friendship, and it gives ...more
D.J. Adamson
Jul 08, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sarah M. Chen’s mastery of short story writing is echoed seven times greater in this debut novel. The character of Finn Roose, a restaurant manager who is behaviorally and psychologically broken offers the reader a clean, clear humanity that pulls the reader along the quick paced plot because his complexities, actions, twerks, and reactions are so credibly understood. A hard broiled noir, Chen satisfies. Her next book will be awaited by anxious readers who not only felt safe in her capable story ...more
Dale
Apr 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The protagonist Finn (don't call him the hero) of this book is a piece of work. We see him scraping along while aspiring to his life goal of constant pleasure and sex, going from one bad decision to another, until he gets into hot water that would boil a lobster. He looks like he's taking a speed-pass trip to jail, and only a miracle can save him.
The writing is crisp and clean, even if the main character isn't. A good debut novel from a promising writer. If you like your characters flawed, this
...more
Leslie Karst
Aug 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Take a trip down to the seamier underside of the restaurant business along with Finn Roose, whose addiction to sex, liquor, and lying gets him into deep waters when his underage one-night-stand goes missing. This smart and tightly written novella had me simultaneously squirming in my chair yet rooting for the hapless restaurant manager, Finn, to solve the mystery and get his messed up life together.
Victoria Heckman
Feb 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really loved Finn, as unlovable as he may be. He makes one poor choice after the other and I kept turning pages just to see how he would mess the next thing up. Sarah M. Chen does a wonderful job keeping us involved, anxious, and squirming at times following his exploits. Great job. More Finn!
David
May 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Nothing but fun reading this slim little noir. The little paperback size - like fifties pulp - it's so appealing! Beautifully written. Hits the ground running and doesn't stop. Finn is a wonderful sleezebag of a guy. Can't wait for the next one!
John Scheck
Apr 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-fiction, novel
I've tried and tried to write what I believe is a noir story, but I never quite get it right. I should take lessons from this writer. To call a book a noir novel is a spoiler, as almost by definition you just know that things are going to get really sticky, and then things slide from bad to worse, it you’ll pardon the mixed metaphor. Maybe things just sort of ooze from bad to worse because things can ooze when they are sticky.
Leftbanker
Apr 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
I have gone completely digital when it comes to reading these days. I love the convenience of literally having a thousand books in the palm of my hand, but part of my exodus from paper books has been influenced by the fact that my mail service is too unreliable to receive packages of any sort. I love my eBook reader, thoroughly. But.

But I sort of wish that I could have a paper edition of this noir novella which reminds me of the pulp noir classics that used to come in slender volumes, like The
...more
Elena Smith
Jun 29, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fast-paced romp, this novella puts you in the head of a perp who doesn’t accept himself as such until his choices drive him deeper and deeper into the miry slush he’s created. Yet, as much as you want to hate him, you feel a twinge of pity. Can Finn save himself from his own undoing? Lots of twists and turns - I found it impossible to guess the ending. This book is hard to set aside.
Frances
Nov 16, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not wanting to carry a big book onto a red eye from San Francisco to Philadelphia and knowing I wouldn't be doing much reading anyway, I slipped this little number into my daypack. And then gobbled it up.
The central character is an unrepentant loser, for the most part, and just digs himself into trouble at every opportunity; but you grudgingly root for him, until he lets you down again.
C.S. DeWildt
rated it it was amazing
May 24, 2016
Ryan
rated it really liked it
Sep 03, 2017
Iulius Molinarius
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Feb 16, 2017
Sid Stiles
rated it it was amazing
May 26, 2016
Mathew
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Nov 04, 2016
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Sarah M. Chen has worked a variety of odd jobs, ranging from script reader to private investigator assistant. Her crime fiction short stories have been accepted for publication online and in various anthologies, including All Due Respect, Dead Guns Press, Shotgun Honey, Out of the Gutter, and Betty Fedora. Her first book, CLEANING UP FINN, is out now with All Due Respect Books and is a 2017 Anthon ...more

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