After doing all that enthusiastic frothing at the mouth over Andrew Klavan’s Bishop and Weiss mysteries a month or so ago, I have to admit that I just couldn’t finish his latest, Damnation Street. After a hundred pages, it went back on the library shelf. The book had the same qualities I liked in the first two – neo-noir atmosphere, fatally flawed heroes, hookers with hearts of gold, corrupt cops, and outstanding acts of badassery, but this time around it wasn’t the same. Something unidentifiable was missing. Everything that I liked about the first two books was here, but it didn’t fit together right. It was like ordering your favorite meal at a restaurant and it tastes awful, even though it has the same ingredients, same chef, cooked at the same temperature, same everything, but for some reason it just didn’t jell. Instead of threatening, the unstoppable serial killer was merely cliché. The hooker with a heart of gold was whiny and annoying. The acts of badassery came off like little more than elements in a twelve-year-old’s playground fantasy. The whole thing had the feel of a bad Steven Segal flick.
Every author is entitled to a pass now and then if a book isn’t up to snuff, and Klavan’s certainly earned his, but yeah. I violently disliked this one.