I kind of hate Nick Feldman right now.
Not only does he write great detective stories like this Asshole Yakuza Boyfriend book but he also produces some of the best content we've ever featured on the site (Seriously. That Lauren Bacall article was something else.) Our resident detective noir expert has managed to do two things with his latest in AYB.
One of those is those is to rekindle my love of all things noir and I can't thank him enough for that. The second? He managed to make Mina Davis even more relevant in a landscape full of forgettable characters and familiar tropes in the detective/crime genre.
If you aren't familiar with Mina Davis? Well, you better make sure you fix that right away. Her first adventures can be found via his Amazon page. Just search for his name, Nick Feldman. Go ahead.. I'll wait.
So you've got Patterson, Evanovich and a handful of other authors all churning out mystery/thrillers and even further still there are those trying to keep the spirit of Sam Spade or Phillip Marlowe alive and well. Few succeed but, thankfully, Feldman is one of those elite few.
Mina Davis, our heroine, is every bit as enthralling as a Spade or Marlowe and offers a newer generation of readers a glimpse into what makes noir so damn good. She is smart, crass, sexy and just a delight to read. Our fellow Zeitgeek has really tapped into something truly evocative of the greats here and, in the process, manages to offer homage to them and stand among them. She isn't a damsel who needs to be saved nor is she a Mary Sue either. Her interplay with the titular Asshole Yakuza Boyfriend was refreshing and crackled off the page.
Shiro, the boyfriend in question, is an interesting foil to her. The thug with a code of honor that attempts to make right when he can. The questions of morality and the very gray areas that exist between the two sides of the law are brought up and handled effortlessly all with a narrative flow that sweeps you up and carries you briskly towards the end. It, much like his first novella (Hungover & Handcuffed) was an absolute breeze to get through. Entertaining through and through.
My biggest complaint, honestly, was the feeling of wanting far more of Mina Davis in my life. I need more of these delectable stories upon my dinner plate. GET TO WORK, AUTHOR.
I've been recommending this to those familiar with the genre but also to those who aren't really comfortable with it. Feldman makes this accessible while still giving the more experienced reader of the genre plenty to latch onto. Go read this book. Right now. I'm not just putting my stamp of approval on it because he writes for us or that he's a good friend of mine. Oh no. Feldman's femme detective is every bit of a strong literary character that I've craved in a genre that I want to dive further into.
Asshole Yakuza Boyfriend is available now over at Amazon for the low low price of 99 cents. Seriously a steal.