Former soldier and current cabdriver Eyrie Brown’s monotonous life is shattered by a chance encounter with gangster Lewis Brue. Swayed by Brue’s money to look after his volatile charge, Toni Curtis, Eyrie is pulled into a world of brutality and chaos in the thrilling crime novel, MOLLS LIKE IT HOT.
MOLLS LIKE IT HOT demonstrates its best feature from the very first page: protagonist Eyrie Brown and his close first person narration. Author Darren Dash’s mix of detail, dry humor, and clean prose, allows the reader to enjoy an impressive amount of character voice. The narration succeeds in reading more like contemplation rather than recollection, and the feeling of watching behind Eyrie’s eyes is incredibly immersive.
The dialogue is fluid and witty, giving even one off characters a sense of charisma. Eyrie’s stoic demeanor and calm, yet weary, approach to the dangerous people that tumble into his life adds both humor and a hint to the troubled past that has worn him out. With the promise of a large sum of money to fuel Eyrie’s dream of becoming a boxing promoter, gangster Lewis Brue convinces Eyrie to be a bodyguard to a mysterious girl for a few days. That girl ends up being foul-mouthed, fast talking, fight-happy, Toni Curtis. Eyrie is drawn in by the beautiful and fiery young lady, equal parts infatuated and disgusted with her. But soon, he is snapped back into reality by her volatile temper and tendency for violence. It is the desire to discover more about these characters—the source of Toni’s explosiveness and Eyrie’s past—which creates the strongest drive to read on.
However, some of MOLLS LIKE IT HOT’s strengths also lead directly to its issues. While Eyrie’s steadfastness in the face of danger is intriguing and conveyed well, the prose weakens when his nerves flair up. There is a lack of weight and emotion in his moments of introspection and anxiety, as there isn’t much in the way of internal wrestling. While Toni’s arrival brings a great deal of energy to the dialogue, the perspective feels ruptured when she is present, as Eyrie begins to comment on Toni’s thoughts like a narrator in a documentary, rather than deducing his information through visual details.
Darren Dash’s MOLLS LIKE IT HOT has a great deal of charm. The writing is a clever, its characters colorful, and its humor natural, giving the reader a wide opening to be captured by its story.
~Yi Zou for IndieReader