Book Review: Suicide Lounge by Greg Barth


Author: Greg Barth

Publisher: All Due Respect

Release Date: April 2016


Following the scorched-earth revenge of Diesel Therapy, world-weary anti-hero Selena has settled into a life of alcoholic and narcotic excess at the Red Light Lounge – the strip club that doubles as the headquarters for the mid-level crime syndicate she has inherited. However, when a sadistic jailbird drug dealer named John Mozingo attempts a bloody takeover of Selena’s territory, loyalties are strained to breaking point, and few of her cronies have the stomach for a full-blown turf war. Never one to back down from a skirmish, Selena strikes a big-money deal with a Las Vegas mobster, which opens up a new supply route. Inevitably, the plan runs into grave complications, and Selena is left fighting for her life – not for the first time.

This book sees Selena fill the hillbilly gangster void created by her own actions, and in much the same way, Greg Barth has seemingly emerged from nowhere to slice, clobber and bullet-hole his way onto the indie crime scene’s top table. Like its predecessors – Selena and Diesel Therapy – Suicide Lounge marries a vicious, unflinching storyline with knife-edge prose. As always, the richly observed supporting cast add light and shade to the story – even if most of them aren’t destined for a happy ending!

Prime antagonist John Mozingo is probably the nastiest bastard to grace the pages of a Greg Barth novel to date, and his oft-repeated desire to slice up his enemies and feed them their own body parts becomes more disturbing as the book unfolds, and his all-out war with Selena draws ever closer. As for Selena herself? True to form, she soaks up a disturbing amount of punishment and keeps on fighting!

Regardless of whether it hits pay-dirt first time around, the Selena Trilogy is destined to become cult reading material for discerning fans of degenerate pulp literature. Suicide Lounge is a great end to an exhilarating trilogy, and the series as a whole comes highly recommended.

Reviewed by Tom Leins


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