Dark Comedy At It Finest
Sometimes blurbs sell you on a book, and sometimes they don’t do a book justice. This book is very much falls into the latter category. Sure, it intrigued me enough to read it, but it absolutely did not prepare me for the wild page-turner I was about to embark upon with this story.
About the Book
In the town of Blackjack, Nevada, washed-up singer Jimmy Wayne is down on his luck, playing covers to a limited and uninterested audience in a third-rate casino. One morning he awakens to find that everything has changed. Not only has he accidentally murdered Wendy, his girlfriend, but he’s also written the best song he’s ever produced. Is it the act of killing that helps him create his finest work? And if it is, should he go for a full album? Wrestling for his desire for success, and his grasp of morality, and haunted by his past mistakes, Jimmy starts searching for the most terrible people he has ever known.
I don’t think I’ve read a book from the perspective of a serial killer before. I’ve read a few where we got a few chapters from a killer or stalker’s perspective and those were creepy thrillers. This was something completely different altogether. This is dark comedy at it’s finest, and if you are a fan of the genre you will love it.
From start to finish, there is a horrifying comedy of errors perpetuated by our main character Jimmy Wayne’s desire to save his waning career and his desire to make his girlfriend’s death not be in vain. Which is both wickedly twisted and weirdly sweet all at the same time.
Jimmy was about as morally grey of a character as you can get. Which is possibly weird to say. He’s a serial killer, doing it for personal gain. So, shouldn’t that not be grey? But you’ll see that it is very grey. We have a whole Dexter-type situation (though I’ll admit I’ve never seen it, so it’s a bit of hearsay on my part). Jimmy relates himself more to Robin Hood.
The author can craft some hilarious sentences, and he has built some beautiful friendships, found family relationships, and back story into this book. I never considered I might like a serial killer, but I definitely like Jimmy at least somewhat, and I definitely want to see where he goes. And I really liked some of the other characters like Kid and Wendy. And, boy, is Guy Hale good at writing the bad guys. They’re easy to dislike, and you’re not sad they’re gone. With the villians, and sometimes the good guys, too, there were some vague undertones of sexism and misogyny that I didn’t love. But it also seems like in that environment that might be a real thing. But I’m not super familiar with it, so I can’t be certain. It seemed like it was representative of real life to me though.
I will absolutely make room on my TBR for the follow-ups, and I look forward to seeing where this cast of characters goes. I am so grateful to the author and Love Books Tours for including me on this tour.
Who’s It For?
If you’re a fan of dark comedy, you will love this book. If you’re not, you might not get it. This is absolutely dark comedy at its finest, but not everyone can appreciate the art form. The main character is incredibly morally grey, the story involves a lot of thinly veiled gore and murder, and it is not for the faint of heart. That said, it is absolutely hilarious and enjoyable. I don’t go for “gore” or horror, and this isn’t that. This is humor. Definitely not appropriate for younger readers. I think fans of Dexter (though I’ve never actually seen the show, I just know the concept) and fans of Finlay Donovan both will enjoy this.
Content Warning: There are several topics that may trigger sensitive readers such as, but not limited to, graphic murder/death scenes, suicide, sex scenes, cancer, drug use, alcohol abuse, parent death, corrupt public officials, infidelity, discussion of religion, discussions of the afterlife, and more.
About the Author
Guy Hale was born in Worcestershire, England. His first job was as a Professional Golfer. He also played Rugby and raced motorcycles until his mid-twenties. When this failed to kill him he started writing plays, mostly two-handers which he performed in pubs and assorted venues with his mate, Andy.
When no call from Hollywood came, he went back into golf until his mid-thirties. Having met and married the love of his life, Lou, he was encouraged to get a proper job … by the boss. This led to him getting into construction and the design and supply of light gauge steel, really exciting stuff!
Surprisingly, this surf bum, ex-rugby player, ex-golfer, keen motorcyclist and cyclist turned out to be pretty good at business and he and his partner, Matt, built a hugely successful company which they sold in 2018. Instead of doing the sensible thing and retiring he started Gulf Coast Records with Mike Zito and then started songwriting. One night in a bar in LA, Mike told him a story about a dream he’d had. That story turned into the Jimmy Wayne saga and Guy was off and running.
Strange how you can drift into some things. Now the Jimmy Wayne Comeback Trail Trilogy is complete, it’s had great reviews and Mike and Guy have done a soundtrack, with the great Kid Andersen, to go along with the books.
Are you reading this Netflix?
Guy is working on a new trilogy based in 1970s Stratford Upon Avon. It promises lots of Shakespearian references and plenty of darkly humorous serial killing – is there any other kind? Jimmy Wayne will return in a second trilogy in 2024.
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