Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Hope for the Wicked by Edward Lorn: Character Interview, Excerpt, and Review

 


 
 
 
An Interview with Larry Laughlin, before the events of Hope for the Wicked, by Edward Lorn

 

Tell us about your family.

 

Well, right now it's just three of us: Larry, Mo and Curly. Mo's my wife. We've been married for ten years. Ma and her run a private investigation firm in Long Beach, California. At this moment, she's giving Curly a bath. He can't stand water, but once she gets him in the tub, he stops trying to bite her. Did I mention Curly's a dog?


What books have most influenced your life?

 

Anything by Robert Burns. Dude had a major way with words. I have to find his stuff translated, though, because he wrote like he spoke. Not that I knew what the guy sounded like, but he was a native Scotsman. Without alteration, most of his poetry went like this: The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men gang aft agley. Yeah... my point exactly. But he was right, even in 1785. Plans suck. Even the well laid out ones can go south on you in a hurry.

 

If you could apologize to someone in your past, who would it be?

 

A guy named Ralph Bloomingdale. Mo and I were sent to see about the guy but it turned out he didn't deserve the attention we gave him. Sometimes, I wish I had the power of foresight, you know, mystical voodoo fortune-telling skills. Ralph is the main reason Mo and I retired from our previous profession and became private investigators. We couldn't keep on doing what we'd been doing knowing that we could never be one hundred percent certain of someone's guilt.


What would we find under your bed?

 

A lockbox with all of our personal paperwork hidden inside. Sorry to disappoint you, but I lend no credence to the boogeyman or things that go bump in the night. There are plenty of real-world bad guys to fear without being frightened of crap that doesn't exist.


What makes you happy?

 

Boredom. I know that seems a little... boring, but given that my life has been pretty chaotic since I was an early teen, banality has become quite soothing. I like nothing more than sitting at home, petting my dog and just existing. If there's nothing going on, there's nothing going wrong.

 


What is the next big thing?

 

Our handler, Tommy Kirsch, is in the process of finding Mo and I new jobs even as we speak. Tommy's a good guy, if a little country at times. He has a way of getting his hands on needed information. And even though he's young, the guy's a go-getter, and hasn't let us down as of yet. But, I will say, if he doesn't come across a high-paying job soon, the lights could start going out around here.

 

Do you have a favorite quote, quip, or saying? What is it?

 

Wonderfail. It's a word of my own making, one that describes situations so wonderfully full of fail that no other words can describe them. Mo likes "Sad Panda," because, well... have you ever seen an unhappy panda? Those black and white bears seem to be in a constant state of euhoria. It's like they haven't got a clue how close to extinction they really are.

 

Who should play you in a film?

 

Well, if I had my ego answer that question, I'd say someone the likes of Brad Pitt or George Clooney. But, to be honest, it would probably be more likely is Michael Cera or Jesse Eisenberg played me. I'm an unassuming guy, not big in the looks or brains department. Don't get me wrong, I'm good at what I do, one of the best in fact, I just won't be gracing the cover of GQ any time soon. 

 
 
 


 

Sometimes, bad people do good deeds.
 

Larry and Mo Laughlin are retired killers turned private investigators with monetary woes. So when their handler introduces them to the Trudeaus, one final job is placed on the docket.
 

Jacob and Bernice Trudeau need their teenage daughter, Amy, found, and they also want the men responsible dead. Two million dollars is an offer Larry and Mo can’t refuse.


To find Amy, the Laughlins must travel to Mexico, where they are thrust into a world of debauchery so foul they will be forever changed.
 

One crazed pimp, a veterinarian turned doc-for-hire, and an enigmatic facility called “The Show” lie in wait for the wayward couple.
 

Is there any hope for the wicked?
 

*Warning: Contains explicit language, violence, and sex


 

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Chapter One: The Trudeaus

I
Those deserving of death were hung on the bathroom wall.
That first morning, I sat looking at the Wall of Death while I relieved myself. When my wife and I first started our P.I. firm, I placed the names of the dead on the wall in the restroom, where twenty-two small plaques—like those you’d find on an Employee of the Month Wall— chronicled those whose lives Mo and I had taken on our journey to normalcy. I changed the names, of course, separating first and last and rearranging them in random order so as not to have any evidence that our victims were who they’d once been. There was no chance someone would come looking for these people, but one could never be too careful.
Aside from the plaques, the walls of the bathroom were bare. My wife had decorated the rest of the office. Mo had bisected the forty-by-forty space with two aluminum desks she’d found on clearance at Office Depot for under a hundred bucks a piece. Behind the desks sat
Mo’s pink Hello Kitty office chair and my beige Laz-Y-Boy Memory Foam number with the squeaky casters. Anyone walking into our little office on any given day would see our certificates to operate a business in the great state of California hanging on the left wall—Mo’s
side—while on the right—my side—they would find a picture of an obese Saint Bernard. Day after day, we sat surrounded by eggshell walls, with threadbare charcoal-gray carpeting, the kind you’d find in any office setting, under our feet, waiting for someone to come in and offer us a job.
My business done, I got up from the commode and flushed. The man in the mirror grinned back at me, happy for some unknown reason, while I washed my hands. Behind those soft hazel eyes hid the mind of an experienced thirty-year-old man. The prematurely gray sideburns stood out against the rest of my dark-brown mop like silver Popsicle sticks attached to a ball of fudge. My need for a Just For Men hair kit could have been attributed to a various number of reasons, but at that moment, I blamed our financial situation.
We were four years into our private investigation venture, looking to make a life on the right side of things, but goings were slow. A few well-paying jobs here and there kept the lights on and the printer stocked with ink. Many days, I wondered how long we could stay afloat
without something big coming our way.
Coming out of the restroom, I noticed that Mo and I were no longer alone in the office. Tommy Kirsch stood on the other side of Mo’s desk, smiling as if he’d just won the coveted first place trophy in a Kool-Aid Man impersonation contest. For all intents and purposes, Tommy
was our handler. The few jobs we did get usually came through him. I had never asked him his age because that didn’t matter in my book, but the guy couldn’t have been more than twenty-five, yet he had a way of procuring items and information. Since we had quit our previous profession, we needed someone like Tommy to fill in the gaps created by going legal. Tommy wasn’t thin, nor was he fat, but resided somewhere in the middle with the rest of the American populace. That day, he wore a blue T-shirt tucked into a pair of dress slacks that seemed to fight for attention. His apparel almost screamed, “Look how odd we are together!”
Tommy nodded at me and asked, “E’erythin’ come out all right, Larry?” He was a transplant to California. If you asked him, Tommy would say he still considered Alabama home.
I gave him a thumbs-up. “Peachy keen, jelly bean.”
Mo swiveled in her chair to look at me. Her short-cropped, black hair shone in the light coming through the glass front of the building, giving it an azure tone. “Tommy’s found us a job.
He told me as much while you were… indisposed.”
Tommy snickered. “Indisposed? That’s uppity-speak for takin’ a shit, I reckon?”
Ignoring Tommy's vulgarity, I said, “Something like that. What’s this job?”
Tommy filled me in. “Jacob and Bernice Trudeau—banker types—lost their girl somewheres in Mexico. They need someone to give ’em a hand. That’s all I know right now. I owe the guy a solid, so I figured I’d let you two make some money off’n my imposed servitude. They’ll fill you in more when you get there.”
I asked Tommy, “Where do they live?”
Mo answered excitedly, “The Hills.”
Beverley Hills meant money. I already liked the sound of Tommy’s new job. “Are they expecting us today?”
Tommy grinned. “Nope. Expected y’all last week. I parked my time machine in the spot next to that beat-up rust collector you call a car.”
I flipped him off.
Tommy gave us the information on how to find the Trudeaus’ house, then left without so much as a goodbye.


 
3 STARS

I absolutely loved this book - that is up until “The Show”.  Told from the perspective of Larry Laughlin, a private detective and reformed (sort of) assassin, this book is offbeat, humorous, and darkly wacky. The conversations snap, crackle and pop. The backstory is slowly revealed as this new case unfolds and I loved the way in which the pieces of the puzzle interlocked.  I was drawn into Larry’s world – I wanted Larry and his wife Mo to somehow beat the odds. 

This book would have easily garnered a 5 star rating in my mind because of it’s well-written odd quirkiness and fringe characters. However, “The Show” disgusted and appalled me – not in a scary, horrific way, but because I felt it was senseless, irrelevant and just plain gross.  The same end could have been achieved through many other literary vehicles, in my opinion. The reader warning needs to be more strongly worded. Still, though I am disturbed by the single depicted event, I am delighted and amazed at the way in which this author fleshed out the characters and propelled this story along with such unique flair. 

This book was provided to me by the author and publisher in exchange for my honest review.
 
Reviewed by Laurie-J



 

Edward Lorn is an American horror author presently residing in the southeast United States. He enjoys storytelling, reading, and writing biographies in the third person.  
 

Once upon a time, during a session of show and tell, a seven-year-old Edward Lorn shared with his class that his baby brother had died over the weekend. His classmates, the teacher included, wept while he recanted the painful tragedy of having lost a sibling.
 

Edward went home that day and found an irate mother waiting for him. Edward’s teacher had called to express her condolences. This was unfortunate, as Edward had never had a baby brother.
 

With advice given to her by a frustrated teacher, Edward’s mother made him start writing all of his lies down. The rest, as they say, is history.
 

Edward Lorn and his wife are raising two children, along with a handful of outside cats and a beagle named Dot. He remains a liar to this day. The only difference is, now he’s a useful one.











1 comment:

EdwardLorn said...

Thank you for the fair and honest review! I appreciate you giving my work a chance.

E.