16 October, 2009

Review: Burn Me Deadly, by Alex Bledsoe

Prelude


Some months ago - it was in July - I reviewed the The Sword-Edged Blonde (2007) [US][UK], by Alex Bledsoe and wrote:
"I'm so glad I read this book. It entered my extended 2009 hit list by storm."
It did not take long and I received a mail from Alex Bledsoe. He asked me if I would like to review the sequel - Burn Me Deadly [US, 10th November 2009][UK, 2nd November 2009]. What a question! Of course I wanted.
So I received my first advance reading copy (ARC). And now the time has come to share with you my thoughts about the second appearance of Eddie LaCrosse.

The Setup - Eddie and his world

Let me introduce Eddie LaCrosse and his world to all of you who have not read The Sword-Edged Blonde yet.
In his Western European medieval style world Eddie is a sword jockey for hire - a complement to private investigators in our world. Only twenty-five gold pieces a day and he is "yours". He offers a lot of different services except murder. How to find him? you need an Ediegator. The Bledsoenian company offers to different models with unusual names: The Sword-Edged Blonde and Burn Me Deadly. They work simple and effective. Just open the cover and flip to the country of Muscodia, town Neceda, Angela's tavern, first floor. Then you are in front of Eddie's office. If he isn't available, just go downstairs and get a mug of beer from Angela. And hey, if you are interested in swords, try to have a look at his sword cabinet....

The Setup -The story

Unbelievable or not the story really begins with the very first sentence:
"The blonde dashed out of the darkness into the moonlight, right in front of me."
Eddie Lacrosse is on his way home to Neceda when he "meets" Laura Lesperitt: Young,blond, sparsely dressed, scratches on her legs and dirty, bloody feet.
Eddie, whose his relationships to women are not easy going, offers gentlemanly his help. The consequence is the begin of a fast paced story which soon leads to the death of Laura Lesperitt and the almost death of Eddie LaCrosse. To reveal the reasons for the death of Laura is the main story. But the more Eddie discovers the more dangerous the situation gets. He has to face criminal bosses, to cope with the mysterious dragon cult, to handle royal scandals discreet and to work on his relationship to Liz.... Fortunately Eddie is not alone. Beside this we take part in the development of Eddie. Especially his relationships to women and horses.

My Take in Brief

I was keen to read Burn Me Deadly. Would the book live up to my expectations?

I Expected: - A new intriguing case - Development of Eddie's character - More details about Eddie's past - More details about Eddie's world.

And again Alex Bledsoe demonstrates his narrative aptitude. With his extremely vivid narrative style Mr. Bledsoe gains his user a great access to the world he created. You forget your environment when you follow Eddie like a shadow. It is like a holodeck in your brain. You are there. You are next to Eddie. You see, hear, smell and taste. You feel with Eddie even he is happy or he is suffering. Your bones hurt. BUT you have one advantage. You can't get hurt physically - except you come off your chair or you are attacked by the ones you love because you don't react to them any longer. Again Alex Bledsoe "serve" his sweeping mix of hard boiled detecive fiction, fantasy and a squeeze of mystery. You can't escape as soon you start reading.
Coming back to my expectations. Indeed Mr. Bledsoe opens his Eddie LaCrosse treasure chest. Just a bit more than in The Sword-Edged Blonde. We get more Eddie - well dosed. New details about his past and the impact on his nowadays life. It is more and more obvious that Women, swords and horses are a central part of his life.
I still don't know how many swords Eddie owns. Now we know two new swords: Jackblade KG-model and Shadow Slasher III with.... No I don't tell you the secret. We learn a bit more about the world which is still a rag rug with a lot of white patches. The plot has enough depth and windings.
Beside this you can read Burn Me Deadly without knowing The Sword-Edged Blonde. But then you would miss an awesome read and the development of Eddie LaCrosse.
Conclusion
Expected ======================> Complied
A new intriguing case ==============> Complied
Development of Eddie's character =====> Complied
More details about Eddie's past =======> Complied
More details about Eddie's world ======> Complied

Bona Fide's Book Oracle

What shall we say? Without any discussion we declare solemnly: Eddie Lacrosse is our sword jockey of the year 2009. He is on his way to be as unique as our favorite "modern" wizard Harry Dresden. All our expectations have been complied. If you want to "feed" your brain holodeck with a sweeping mix of hard boiled detecive fiction, fantasy and a squeeze of mystery presented in a extreme vivid narrative style then put Burn Me Deadly on your to buy list. It is not mandatory to read The Sword-Edged Blonde before. But be warned: You will definitely diminish your reading pleasure. Or do you start a relationship with the second rendevous??
There are no excuses - except money. And you are lucky. The second Eddie LaCrosse novel is just ahead of you. Only few weeks to wait. Look at me. How long do I have to wait for the next book?

On one thing I agree with Eddie LaCrosse. We both are not sure that
"if you wait long enough, everything eventually comes to you"
works as an universal maxime. That means if you want to read the books you have to buy or lend them.

More Alex Bledsoe

For more information about Alex Bledsoe and his books visit Alex Bledsoe's website and/or ... From Down In Lucky Town (his blog) and/or follow AlexBledsoe on Twitter. And don't miss the latest interview which I found over at Library Dad.

2 comments:

TK42ONE said...

I'm a few days late to the review, but I'm glad you liked the book. Bledsoe has done well with his Eddie LaCrosse character and I think he has plenty of room to write more adventures for him. I think one of the things that impressed me about this book was there was no "sophmore slump" that we usually see when an author writes their second book. Even if you include his Blood Groove novel in the mix, he did well with that one too.

ediFanoB said...

TK42ONE,

it doesn't matter if you comment sooner or later. I was sure you will leave a comment as you promised. Due tothe number of blogs I follow I always need some time to write comments.

So we both are real Eddie LaCrosse fans.
I'm sure we can expect some more well done Eddie LaCrosse novels. I trust in Alex Bledsoe.

Thank you for teaching me a new expression. I didn't know "sophmore slump" before. Fortunately I found an explanation at Urban Dictionary.