Author: Paul Heatley
Publisher: All Due Respect
Release Date: May 2017
After his girlfriend, Billie, leaves and takes their young son with her, hot-tempered barman Joey Hidalgo is left alone in the trailer that they formerly called home, with nothing to do but get drunk and try to figure out where it all went wrong. Convinced that the only thing he needs to win Billie over is money, Joey hatches a simple plan to get his life back on track, and get revenge against his tormentor (the eponymous FatBoy) – a morbidly obese regular customer with a penchant for racist abuse. Enlisting the help of Lynne, a skeletal hooker who hangs out at the dive bar he works at, Joey is about to find out exactly how far he is willing to go to get his family back…
Paul Heatley’s grim, gripping An Eye For An Eye (Near To The Knuckle) was one of my favourite books of last year. It blended raw violence and visceral thrills to terrific effect, and is well worth seeking out. Heatley’s hot streak continues with FatBoy, a US-set noir that matches its predecessor blow for bloody blow. The plot may sound deceptively simple, but – in tried and trusted noir style – Joey’s scam spirals dangerously out of control and plunges him into a grisly, hellish nightmare.
Boasting great characterisation and pitch-perfect prose, FatBoy is a well-judged excursion into classic noir territory. Another excellent crime novella from the All Due Respect production line.
Reviewed by Tom Leins