Book Review: Tijuana Donkey Showdown by Adam Howe

TIJUANA DONKEY SHOWDOWN

Author: Adam Howe

Publisher: Comet Press

Release Date: December 2016

Adam Howe has been probing the dark recesses of Americana with his sweaty British fingers for some time now, and he earned plaudits last year with his grisly triple-threat novella collection Die Dog or Eat the Hatchet. The wonderfully titled Tijuana Donkey Showdown plucks hapless hick hard-man Reggie Levine out of the previous book’s opening story, Damn Dirty Apes, and plunges him into a similarly reckless adventure.

Recruited by a down-at-heel used car salesman to retrieve a Chinese crested terrier from a fleapit roadside zoo – where the spectacularly ugly dog has been improbably mistaken for the Chupacabra – punch-drunk ex-boxer Reggie soon finds himself embroiled in a deadly criminal conspiracy involving sadistic neo-Nazi drug smugglers and a freakishly endowed adult entertainment donkey named Enrique. Unable to extricate himself from his increasingly sticky predicament, reluctant hero Reggie has no choice but to see his bizarre mission through to its explosive conclusion.

Of the three stories that made up Die Dog, Levine’s adventure was arguably the one crying out for a sequel, and this is a bigger, ballsier follow-up. Funnier and nastier than its predecessor, in Tijuana Donkey Showdown, Howe spoon-feeds you unsavoury content and then cranks up the ‘80s action movie theatrics to disorientate you. If you like your crime fiction laced with twisted humour, surreal violence and animalistic urges, then Howe’s work is definitely worth investigating further.

Great title. Great cover. Great story. (And a great cameo from Nicolas Cage!)

Reviewed by Tom Leins

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