DE LUXE - Lenny Bartulin
Hands up everyone who has ever thought that owning a secondhand bookshop sounds like their idea of a perfect life. If your hand is in the air you might have a problem. Reading DE LUXE is either going to put you off the idea - or make it seem just that bit too exciting. Personally I still rather like the idea of a bookshop of my own, so I'm hoping that the extra-curricula activities that Jack Susko gets involved in aren't compulsory!
DE LUXE is the third instalment in this wonderful set of books, set in Sydney, "starring" Jack Susko, aforementioned bookshop person, cat owner, flat renter and accidental detective. Accidental as in the way he gets involved in these situations, accidental as in the way he solves many of these situations, accidental as in what happens to him along the way.
The Jack Susko books are all highly entertaining, with a combination of rapid-fire delivery, heaps of charm and charisma and not a little of your traditional love-lorn bloke. Now there's nothing much new in the scenario's of your accidental detective - but the delivery in the case of these books is what makes the whole thing. Sure Jack seems like an unlikely sort of a hero, he's your quintessential Aussie bloke trying to get the girl, keep his shop, stay alive and make his cat love him. In this case he's also trying very hard to sort out his future home and hearth.
There is a lot of rushing around, there's more than a hefty dose of Energiser Bunny type actions on Jack's part (as well as some very tidy stealthy sneaking around). There are fast cars, gorgeous women, lurking gangsters, ex-lovers, new boyfriends, nefarious goings on and the occasional dollop of book buying business. The great thing about these books is that even when presented with some of the most unlikely circumstances, it all makes immense sense in Jack world. It also makes immense sense that in Jack world not everything always pans out, he doesn't necessarily get the girl, Lois the cat is still going to take some convincing to like him, and the bookshop is still teetering on the edge of broke.
DE LUXE is one of those perfect little dollops of sheer entertainment. A great book for a rainy Sunday, excellent on a dark night curled up on the couch, perfect as a beach read in the heights of summer. Make sure that whatever the weather, wherever you are, you take the time to catch up with Jack. The good thing about this series is that really you could dip in anywhere in the three books so far. Starting from the start of the series will give you a better idea of everything that makes Jack tick - but whatever you do, make sure that you do dip in.
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.