Disclaimer: I’m not an unbiased reviewer here. I love Allen Dusk’s work; probably always will. So, as a review goes this is probably not going to be what you have come to expect.
So instead, allow me to proselytize to you about this author and his work.
I was first introduced to Allen and his work about a year ago starting with his short story “Pixie Cut“, and shortly thereafter, “Caught White Handed“, “Her Lover’s Touch“, and of course, “Terminal Affair“.
Immediately, I was struck by his crisp yet tactile writing style. “It’s very visual,” I would later tell him. Although, I didn’t know it at the time, he happens to be a very talented film maker, as evidenced by the awesome movie style trailer he did for this book.
Allen’s film making background has clearly had a huge influence on his writing style. A style that is uninhibited and “smash cut” paced, it’s hard to put his work down once you get going. He is quite fearless, and very willing to put you, as the reader, in some contradictory and uncomfortable situations. Situations that make you think this is sexy, or interesting, yet kind of awkward and creepy (see ‘Caught White Handed’). That takes guts people.
“Shady Palms” is fast paced, gritty, and non-stop fun. The characters are engaging, and often operate with deeply flawed personalities. Sanjay, in particular, is a wonderful character. I’d love to read his story of how he came to be. The plot has some very nice unpredictable twists, which is often the case with Allen’s writing, and something that enjoy very much.
One of my favorite features of this book is the quick yet numerous chapters. I’m sure I’m not alone when I say I read on the go. When I’m waiting for an appointment, or in a check-out line, or just on a nice mid-day work break, the compact chapters are perfect! Very rarely do you need to pick up mid-stream of a scene. I wish more authors worked this way.
Allen Dusk is somebody you need to keep a look out for in the future; he’s just getting warmed up and he’s about to rock some worlds.
Do yourself a favor, buy ‘”Shady Palms“.
But you might want to put on a rubber apron first, ‘cause it’s gonna get a little messy…
Allen Dusk’s “#1 Fan”
(she said in her best Annie Wilkes voice)