Tuesday, August 17, 2010

'Tempted by Trouble' by Eric Jerome Dickey

"If you sell your soul to the devil, what’s to say the check won’t bounce"?

I usually hate when people compare authors, but damn if Eric Jerome Dickey isn’t racing toward the “Walter-Mosley-Atmosphere” of writing. Not sure if the term ‘intelligent-thriller’ has been coined or not; but either way Eric Jerome has it on lock! His books are a literary paradox; his writing is so clean that you can’t help BUT devour his work, unfortunately if you devour too fast you’ll miss the flavor. ‘Tempted by Trouble’ is another high adrenaline rush from the man who lives on the road.

Dmytryk is a man who is asked to sell his soul to the devil. Of course you would never think that the person that begs you to sell your soul to Satan would be an angel. His angel answers to a very common name. Wife. Our tax dollars have financed the salaries of the people who have orchestrated this recession, and Motor City is losing jobs like a Las Vegas stripper slowly loses her soul. If money is the root of all evil, Eddie Coyle is the bush that grows from that root. That would make Bishop and Jackie the rotten branches. Dmytryk would be the gardener trying to prune said bush while getting caught in the vines, and his angel-wife Cora would be the fertilizer.

The predominate question in this book is “how far would you go to protect/save what is yours”? The mental anguish Dmytryk goes would weaken even the strongest cerebral athlete. He’s down and out. He has no money. Eddie Coyle tells him that he can make easy money in two minutes. In the time it takes a minute man to put a smile on his face and a frown on his woman’s, Dmytryk can become recession proof. At least for a while. At least until the money runs out. Again. Two minutes and you could live your life like it’s golden for the next six months. Two minutes and your soul could dissolve into black forever.

As I was reading this book I was thinking how easy it would be to be a wheelman and make a few thousand just for driving. How much fun it would be to spend all that cash. What it would be like to waltz off a deserted island with a nineteen year old nymph. But you know what? I’m bet Dmytryk thought the exact same thing. I’m sure he didn’t factor in his wife doing the things she did because of that money. I’m sure he didn’t factor in becoming the bloody dispenser of pain to strangers. And I’m damn sure he didn’t factor being trapped in an M. Night Shyamalan black hole. While there are shockers throughout ‘Tempted by Trouble’, there is one you won’t see one coming.

Trust me, you won’t. I actually had to go back and re-read a few pages because I really thought I missed something. I did, but it wasn’t anything like I thought. Eric writes on a level that most people dream. Saying that his books are magnificent is just redundant. My admiration of this man goes beyond a fan’s infatuation. I’m a booklover who reads these books because Eric has that very, very rare gift of being able to tell a story and not just write a book. I relish the read, I take pleasure in the literary vacation, I hardly breathe on the thrill ride from cover to cover, and what’s more, it’s a necessity. I’m the junkie and he’s the dealer. (just call me Pooky)! And like most junkies, when I find something good I spread the word. So everyone, slap your forearm, find that vein, and O.D. on a drug called EJD.



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