Perfect Criminals, Jimmy Thomson
The world sure as hell needs something to laugh at, and it could use a lot more caper novels. Especially ones where things are manic, odd, downright daft on occasions and a bit of just good old fashioned silly fun. With car chases obviously. PERFECT CRIMINALS fits most of those requirements, with just a few minor quibbles. Danny Clay is ex-military, a scriptwriter now, he's a veteran of special operations with PTSD. His best friend, sort of pining love interest, Zan is the Australian born daughter of Vietnamese refugee parents, the girl next door, with a twist. She's scrupilously tidy, organised and together, as compared to his car crash life, there is less sexual tension and more longing between these two.
When friends who are also writers, start dying in mysterious circumstances, Danny finds himself calling on his old army sapper skills to prevent Zan and he becoming victims as well. Meanwhile a mysterious figure is shooting paintballs at nightclub patrons, while a very odd couple of killers are on the move.
Action-packed definitely, hilarious sometimes, there's more than enough odd to satisfy fans of romp styled capers in PERFECT CRIMINALS. It's a pity that there's some less than satisfactory stylings of female characters, and some of the opportunities to fire shots across the bows of Hollywood misfire. The subplot of a sexually harrassed assistant producer was flimsy and very disappointing, compared in particular with the way the stuntman turned hero of the day was handled which was really good.
The wheels within wheels and elaborate connections were delivered well, there's heaps of pace, and Danny, for all his faults, is kind of likeable in an "every now and again he needs a good glaring at" way. The character of Zan is loaded with potential, as is their ongoing friendship / romance / clash, and there's certainly plenty here leaving you looking for more of the same romp type caper with hopefully a little fine adjustment in places.
Ten years after surviving special operations in Afghanistan, Danny Clay is working as a scriptwriter in the emotional war zone of TV production. His best mate and editor is Vietnamese neighbour Zan who may or may not have killed a man with her bare hands. When their writer friends start dying in mysterious circumstances, Danny must resurrect his old army sapper skills to prevent himself and Zan becoming the next victims.
From the backstreets and brothels of Sydney's Kings Cross to the fake sincerity of Hollywood, Perfect Criminals is an action-packed and hilarious romp through the dark side of the entertainment criminals have the same skill set as movie producers - only with a more evolved moral code.