Nine Toes In The Grave by Eric Beetner
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
”She had the right amount of leg, ample up top, dark hair with light eyes. Pale, pale skin like she was keeping secrets, y’know? Out there, on the side of a highway coming from nothing and going to nowhere, she qualified as a vision.
So, yea, she and I took up together.”
Reese is a busboy in a greasy spoon in the middle of nowhere. Life is baffling for a guy like him because every time he tries to do anything he ends up on the cropped end of the the stick.
He is the short straw guy.
He is the guy that always has to do the shit work because he is always the biggest loser with the least leverage.
So when Moira, the hot wife of his boss, decides to hike her skirt and let him bend her over a restaurant booth, Reese isn’t going to say no. He isn’t going to think to himself, why is this woman, who could have anyone she wants, letting him put the wood to her? Is she bored? Desperate? Or maybe she has a plan for him? The fact is Reese has never even been close to doing a woman as good looking as Moira, so really there is no time for thinking, just time for grabbing this baffling, but once in a lifetime, opportunity.
Sex with Moira is the type of memories a guy likes to keep for when he is on his deathbed. Those last flashbulb photos raising the flag one last time before the Grim Reaper whacks it off with one swing of his scythe.
Reese is a loser used to losing, but the question remains, how much more can a loser lose? When you don’t have any skin in the game (well except for some sweaty quick sex), the only thing a guy like Reese has to lose is his life.
Now if you are hearing the chimes of a Postman Always Rings Twice, you are on the right track. You and I know that Moira is up to no good. She isn’t the type of gal who gives out pity sex or feels the need to dumpster dive for the perverted thrill of it. She has a plan, and that plan involves the early demise of an inconvenient husband.
Reese, well shit, he was born to be the fall guy.
The tank on his car is closer to E than F. He has just enough dollars to give himself illusions of the possibility of escape, but not enough to put a long enough dust trail between him and the electric chair. It is bad enough being a loser, but being a desperate loser...well that just makes him doubly stupid.
He takes a job, too good to be true, for which I have to give Reese credit. He keeps rolling the dice, thinking he is going to see something other than snake eyes staring back up at him. Two guys offer him $500 to go “repossess” a car. He asks a few questions and accepts their nonsensical answers because he has $$ signs in both eyeballs.
Greed, stupidity, and desperation is a cocktail for just about everything that normally goes wrong to go wrong on an epic, turbocharged scale.
How does a man like Reese get accused of two murders (he didn't commit) within the same twenty four hour period? Well, you are just going to have to spin the top off a bottle of Jack and read Nine Toes in the Grave to find out.
”YOU EVER FEEL like the biggest fucking idiot in the world? Well, you’re not. I am.”
The cover art on this book is irresistible. It conveys a hardboiled treat with elegant simplicity. What makes it even more special is that the writer Eric Beetner designed the cover. Kudos to a writer who is also a creative book art designer.
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