Murder, D.C. by Neely Tucker

// just cannot get into this noir stuff. I’ve tried reading quite a few books in this genre, and my attention never fails to wander extravagantly. While reading Murder, D.C., I found myself seriously contemplating Fall Out Boy lyrics, only to realize that I’d “read” 20 pages and had no recollection of doing so. Needless to say, Neely Tucker’s latest wasn’t for me.

One contributing factor here is that I never read the first book. Although “A Sully Carter Novel” is clearly stamped on both the front and back of the jacket, it took me a good 100 pages or so to realize that I was missing some useful information. Murder, D.C. does stand on its own, but Sully is constantly and melodramatically alluding to his tormented past, which is apparently detailed in his first adventure, The Ways of the Dead.

So, this supremely damaged Sully Carter is a crime reporter who is writing a story about a dead body found in the river. The victim turns out to be a young black man from a rich, snobby family, which raises some serious questions as to why he was found shot in the head in a seedy part of town. Or a seedy part of the river, at least. Sully loses himself in the unsolved case, and the deeper he digs, the more danger he faces [insert ominous music here].

The plot is interesting enough, and there’s plenty of twists and turns to keep the reader engaged. Just not this reader. Political storylines tend to instantly shut down my brain. I can binge watch eight hours of House of Cards, and my takeaway is never deeper than “I want Claire Underwood’s clothes.” Embarrassing, but true enough. Murder, D.C. had virtually the same sort of impact, but less so as I didn’t have Robin Wright’s clothes to look at. Politics aside, I can’t handle hard-boiled protagonists with corny dialogue. Seriously, the banter between Sully and his gal pal Alexis is borderline attrocious:

“That’s because you’re a girl.”

“It’s because I’m not a dick.”

Mehhhh. Hence, since I was unable to become absorbed by the characters or the plot, Murder, D.C. was not one of my favorites. If you like seedy crime underbelly-type books, then give this one a shot. But maybe read the first one beforehand. If you do, enlighten me as to what’s got Sully so emo.


Thanks to Viking for the copy of Murder, D.C.

*This post may contain affiliate links.


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