- Hardcover: 285 pages
- Publisher: Uglytown Productions; 1 edition (Jan. 1 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0972441239
- ISBN-13: 978-0972441230
- Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.5 x 20.3 cm
- Shipping Weight: 358 g
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
Amazon Bestsellers Rank:
#3,941,039 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #173492 in Mystery (Books)
Dark as Night Hardcover – Jan 1 2004
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From Publishers Weekly
Loopy characters drive Conard's relaxed crime yarn, his first. They careen around contemporary Philadelphia like pachinko balls: lumbering, dyspeptic bookmaker Johnny Stacks; bickering wise-guy wannabes Lenny and Mo (think Lenny and Squiggy) and their shrill, elaborately coifed girlfriends; greedy corrupt cops Turner and Wojcik; and the book's nominal hero, sous-chef Morris White. Morris's dreams include a bistro of his own and marriage to his yuppie girlfriend, Vicki Ward, who manages Le Tour de Cochon, the tony restaurant where Morris works. But when he lets his volatile, no-account half-brother Vince, fresh out of prison and nursing a grudge, stay at his house, he puts his dreams in serious jeopardy. The story involves stolen diamonds and a clutch of revenge schemes, but these serve as MacGuffins for Conard, who loves letting his misfits simply hang out together. The novel unfolds in a series of shaggy scenes, usually involving a small number of characters who riff or clash comicallythink Carl Hiaasen rather than Mario Puzo. Take Lenny and Mo, for example: each thinks himself the brains of the duo and the other, the moron; the reader, of course, enjoys knowing that both are the latter. Despite quite a bit of violence (there's one particularly gruesome sequence involving a power drill), the tone is more droll than sinister. With a slack pace and a plot that fades into insignificance, it's surprising that the story's as entertaining as it is. But Conard knows his characters, depicts them with relish and allows them free, raucous rein.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
This is not a book for the feint-hearted. Many of the characters are deeply unpleasant. This is a world where violence, greed and mysogyny are rife, and while very few characters come across sympathetically, it is clear that these people are a product of the world they inhabit and the choices they’ve made. But don’t think the book is all bleak. Despite his flaws, in Morris you have somebody trying to do the best in a bad situation, and you can’t help but be drawn into the his story to find out whether he succeeds, or not. Recommended.
A great read that should be in every dark crime fiction fan's library.