DE LUXE by Lenny Bartulin, Book Review: Snappy prose
Lenny Bartulin’s De Luxe is Book 3 in his entertaining Jack Susko Mystery Series.
De Luxe Synopsis
For once, Jack Susko is feeling pretty good: his secondhand bookshop is on the up, and the cops haven’t been around in ages. Even his cat, Lois, is being nice to him.
Then one morning a beautiful woman knocks on Jack’s door and hands him an eviction notice. His former boss, a corrupt property developer, asks for help with a particular situation and won’t take no for an answer. Throw in an ex-lover, her jealous boyfriend, half‑a‑dozen Playboy bunnies, a Nazi Luger and, of course, the police, and it’s safe to say that Jack’s favourable winds are quickly turning a little rough.
In his most thrilling and riotous adventure yet, De Luxe finds Jack Susko with all the odds against him … and nothing but bad cards to play.
Genre: Action-Adventure, Crime-Detective, Mystery, Humour, Thriller
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De Luxe is my first Jack Susko Mystery and my first acquaintance with Australian author Lenny Bartulin – what a great discovery!
This story is slick and sexy – everything the very endearing protagonist Jack Susko is not. The most important woman in his life is his cat Lois and he just wants to be left alone with his books. But Jack has history that just won’t leave him alone, no matter how hard he tries to escape it.
Leather creaked softly as she shifted her weight from one long slim leg to the other. ‘From Mr Brandt,’ she said and held up an envelope.
Her voice was sultry and a touch rough-edged: the sound of it occupied Jack’s attention for the moment. Two seconds later the words Mr Brandt passed through his brain and registered with the Department of Bad News. Everybody who worked there suddenly went home sick. Jack stood barefoot in his grey cotton long-johns and listened to the door slam.
In the Jack Susko Mystery, De Luxe, Lenny Bartulin has written some of the snappiest, smart and witty prose I have read in some time.
Jack tilted the bottle and knocked the glass back. Same again. He felt like a broken twelve to everybody’s hour hand. For once, it would have been nice to be the guy winding the goddamn clock.
Bartulin, and hence his protagonist Jack Susko, are keen observers of the human condition – resulting in some deliciously inventive dark humour. The references to literature are also a real treat.
De Luxe, the third novel in the Jack Susko mystery series is a highly entertaining read from a very talented author – highly recommended.
BOOK RATING: The Story 4 / 5 ; The Writing 4.5 / 5 — Overall 4.25
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UPDATE: We have also since read and enjoyed other novels by Lenny Bartulin — Infamy (2014) and Fortune (2019).
About the Author, Lenny Bartulin
Australian Lenny Bartulin is the author of Deadly Business and The Black Russian, which was shortlisted for the 2010 Ned Kelly Award for Best Fiction.
* I received a copy of this novel from Scribe Publications for review purposes.