Friday, August 5, 2011

THE BIG BAD by Phil Beloin, Jr.

If you want a fast-paced, dark, nasty ride, then Beloin's new novel is the ticket.

One morning Nick Constantine, a petty thug and bar owner, wakes up with a massive hangover and an erection. He finds there's a blonde sleeping next to him and does what any gentleman would do -- have sex with her when she's asleep.

Oops, she's a bit more than asleep. She's kind of dead.

I dug this move. Beloin draws a line in the sand -- either you're with him or you're running away, screaming about propriety and the like.

Anyways, turns out that Nick's been framed, and it's going to be quite a journey for him to work his way out of that jamb. In between fighting other bad guys, Nick is ceaselessly trying to score and drowning his liver in booze and beer. The Big Bad proves to be a tour of the Connecticut underworld (which, contrary to popular opinion, does exist) through the eyes of a likable-yet-insane anti-hero. Nick redeems himself a bit by the end, but he's still essentially a sleezeball necrophiliac.

I first read Beloin at sites like A Twist of Noir and The Flash Fiction Offensive. All of his formidable skill that I first noticed -- tight dialogue, sound plotting and a knack for the grotesque -- is on display here. It's cool to see him working his way up with this fine book.


  1. Hey Chris. Welcome back. Yeah, I've been waiting for Phil to get hard (covered, that is). I'm jaunting down to Mysterious Galaxy tomorrow so I'll be picking up a copy. Cool

  2. Glad to have you back, Chris. And thanks for the review.