FATE IS MY PIMP picks up the torrid trail of Vic Valentine, Private Eye as he traverses the mean streets of San Francisco and beyond in search of a mobster's missing teenage daughter, encountering various voluptuous vixens, a female surf band, and a stalker leaving him mysterious musical messages, all while infiltrating an Elvis-theme commune for runaways, led by a deviously decadent Deacon Rivers. Follow the further misadventures of this misguided misfit introduced in LOVE STORIES ARE TOO VIOLENT FOR ME as he continues looking for love in all the wrong places, and unfortunately for him - finding it.
ROMANCE TAKES A RAIN CHECK finds Vic back on the East Coast, tracking down a lead on his cop father's killer, visiting his mother in an asylum, and reuniting with his high school sweetheart, Dolly Duncan, now married to a doper dentist. Nothing is what it seems, times and people have changed, and Vic is going to learn the hard way - again - that some bones, and boners, are best left... More > buried.< Less
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By Steve Isaak
Apr 7, 2014
"Fate" and "Romance", like the first Vic Valentine book ("Love Stories Are Too Violent For Me"), are pop and cinematic nostalgic, with lots of clever dialogue, sex and desperation-soaked action. Not only that, but there's a clear maturation in Valentine, the perpetually horny, prone-to-self-pity P.I., in these sequels: while he's still reeling here and there, he's less a victim than he was in "Love" - there's a sense that yeah, he could still get frakked over and die, but if it happens, it will more likely be the result of others' decisions and actions, not his. What further differentiates "Fate" and "Romance" from their source book is their varied tones. While "Love" had a neo-pulp surrealistic feel to it, "Fate" ups the mellow-gold wackiness, with its mood-swing characters, its strange groupings (the Elvis cult) and its over-the-top climax; "Romance" has an appropriate, directly stated East... More > Coast break-your-bones gravitas. Both of these sequels are entertaining, memorable and darkly humorous in their lusty violence. They're also worth owning. Followed by the third and fourth Vic Valentine novellas "I Lost My Heart in Hollywood" and "Diary of a Dick" (which, like "Fate" and "Romance", have been published in one volume). # Note: I only give five-star reviews to my all-time favorite books. While this book is excellent and worth your money (more so than a lot of books I've read), it isn't an all-time favorite (hence, the four-star review).< Less
This book is billed as a double feature, like an afternoon killing bargain on the ripped seats and sticky floor of the The Strand on Market Street in San Francisco. Is that a ferret the guy down the row has under his trench-coat? Anyway, "Fate is My Pimp" gets top billing and is a satisfying mix of B-movie inspired, National Enquirer verified themes- an incestuous mobster, an Elvis church sex cult, and our hero Vic Valentine's many, many, many demons. Vic makes some new friends and new enemies, all of whom will no doubt show up in future episodes. We also get an overview of his living conditions, anachronistic passions and twisted sexual makeup that would make Freud change the covers on his analysis couch. The second feature is "Romance Takes a Rain check" which perked my interest immediately because VV is looking into the unsolved murder of his father. No matter how skilled a writer, family drama always brings out clues to the real life upbringing of the author.... More > Sure, Elvis sex cults and all, but really, is anything weirder than an average childhood? Vic returns to New York city to dig through his father's past, and to reunite with his teenage sweetheart, whom he imagines a future with. Turns out that Dolly is a world class psycho, everything that comes out of her mouth is an obvious lie, yet it's telling that Vic is so desperate for any kind of female companionship, that he swallows it all, hoping for the best. He knows he has absolutely nothing in common with her, just a history. Why, Vic, why? She's a time-bomb! Doc is Vic's landlord back in S.F. and plays the part of his moral conscience, the only person giving Vic any sort of reality check. While on the telephone with each other, it feels as though Vic is hearing the tiny voice this brain that knows the obvious truth; so what does Vic do? He hangs up. Vic gets the truth, but is anybody happy at the end? Maybe Vic's emasculated cat, but that's another story.< Less
I thoroughly enjoyed this two-for-one of the adventures of private eye Vic Valentine. Both novels provided exciting rides through worlds populated by eccentric characters and enough action to keep me glued to the page. From Elvis worshippers in the Bay Area to mobsters in NYC, Vic moves through it all with old school cool combined with accessible pathos. Combine that with good old-fashioned fun and these stories make for perfect summer vacation reading. Mystery and detective story fans, pick this one up today!
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