WEST PALM by Joss Cordero

I’m a devoted reader of the modern thriller, which has taken major steps toward realism. The best of the practitioners have put their ear against the wall, listening to how people really speak. The result is books that come alive not just through action but in dialogue. Which means when you finish one of these thrillers, you don’t feel trashed. I really enjoy Lee child. I love Robert Parker too, except when his hero Spenser endlessly praises his girlfriend Susan. I get very tired of her wardrobe. I’m not alone in this. But everything else Spenser says sounds real. You can hear it in any bar in Boston. And during his heyday that’s what put Parker out in front along with Elmore Leonard. Also they’re both very funny and that is still pretty rare in the modern thriller.
Which is why I was surprised by WEST PALM, a new thriller which gets the dialogue right. You can hear South Florida lowlifes stepping right off the page, just as they do in Elmore Leonard. And that’s the highest praise I’ve got. The characters are real and they’re funny. Example: the first scene takes place on Christmas Eve in a funeral parlor where Zach, a twisted employee, is decorating the corpses with tinsel, colored lights, and little angels. When the owner of the funeral parlor catches him in the bizarre act, their exchange of dialogue had me laughing out loud.
Zach is canned on Christmas Eve, and in his loneliness and despair at losing such a good job, proceeds to cut a beautiful young woman’s throat. He needs another corpse to decorate, but she’s six-foot tall, just got out of the Coast Guard, and fights him off with blood spurting out of her neck.
This wild action comes in the first installment of WEST PALM, which I downloaded off the web for $.99. The second installment, for just another $.99 is as good as the first, and the third one came out today. I’ve only taken a quick look, but it promises to be even funnier than the first two.
If you enjoy humor, mayhem, and elegant writing, download WEST PALM. The final installment comes next week, so four bucks buys the whole book. I think it’s great that such high-class literature is available at a bargain price. Let’s hope it’s a new trend in online publishing.