Wednesday, August 14, 2019

54. Gat Heat by Richard S. Prather

I chose this one after Homicide, simply because it was short.  Too be honest, I was not looking forward to reading it.  The last Shell Scott book I read, The Meandering Corpse, was just too goofy.  I knew this was going to be easy to read and I soldiered on.  Happily, I ended up actually quite enjoying it.  This one was possibly more goofy and that pushed it over into being actually funny.  Scott is also extremely self-deprecating in this one, making himself look bad in front of other cops and witnesses in moments that were absolutely slapstick.  At times, there was the prepatory monologue that I found so off-putting in The Meandering Corpse, but it was scaled way down here and the payoffs were funnier. 

The book opens with Scott responding to a call from a potential client, whom he finds dead in his own home while what he finds out later is a swingers party is winding down.  Scott ends up investigating the murder for the wife (who fails to tell him about the swinging).  The plot and mystery were semi-interesting and the ultimate badguys, an attractive couple whose scam was to get groups of swingers going, take their pictures and blackmail them, were interesting.  There is a lot of violence with a bunch of gangsters in between and two very funny setpieces: Scott breaking into a couple's home fearing an ambush where there is none and destroying their curtains and Scott showing a home movie to a bunch of cops that was going to be evidence but ends up making a goat of him.

I guess the series had its ups and downs.  I was totally down on the Shell Scott series at the last book, but now I am back up again.  I won't be hunting them down, but will do a bit of investigation if another one falls into my lap to see if it is one of the good ones.

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