The Wild Rose Press, $4.99, ISBN 978-1-5092-0104-4
Noir Fiction, 2015
Shea O’Grady is a prostitute. As Heaven Scent, she has loans to pay off like everyone else, and she really works hard for the money. Alas, she doesn’t believe that she has the, er, head for this vocation, so she brings up a new idea to her pimp: she’d gather some like-minded ladies of the night, and together, they would find johns to service and then rob. The pimp is like, hey, go for it, as long as they give him a big cut. So there they go. Oh, and don’t worry, there’s a happy ending here. Of course, if you prefer to read stories where crime doesn’t pay, this may not be the best story for you to pick up, even on a slow day.
On paper, The Blow Off sounds fantastic. Shea isn’t doing what she does for the cats or the sick children, which is great. The language is spicy and dirty, which only adds to the filthy fun vibes of the premise, and the author has a sarcastic and darkly acerbic kind of humor that is the perfect fit for this kind of story.
Unfortunately, this story is way too slow for my liking. It’s not a long story, so a part of me is hoping that we’d go straight into the fun and see a bunch of women happily going wild. Alas, Shea spends what seems like an eternity just to share the idea with me, and then she takes her time to approach the pimp, and then she spends more time assembling her team… it’s like being told that hot guys are going to get naked in a show, only to find myself sitting through interminable warm up acts where nothing exciting really happens. By the time things do happen, my enthusiasm has waned considerably and I’m just ready to go home.
Also, Shea starts becoming less interesting once she’s all boo-hoo-hoo “When will my man call me?” on me. She turns into… so normal compared to what she started out as. Love – it can really set back a character sometimes.
Anyway, The Blow Off certainly has its moments – the author has a nice narrative voice that I can certainly get used to – but it remains an unfulfilled promise at the end of the day. I wanted more, and it ended up delivering something a little more ordinary, for the want of a better word, and less unorthodox than I’d hoped. Still, it’s a memorable read, for reasons both good and bad.