The book is a noir in Mr. Ames’s distinctive comic style, and if you enjoy his previous books, you’ll like this one. In the current moment, however, it may be hard to get past the grim overtones of the crime that kicks off this novel...That said, Doll is a unique addition to the Southern California crime-fiction scene, and Mr. Ames’s new series holds great promise.
After only a few pages of this extraordinary thriller, the reader senses a strong, original talent at work ... the story takes hold, all spare, steely sentences with an unadorned forward momentum ... Moving from a stunningly written scene at the spa to a finale in which Happy is kidnapped by organ harvesters, Ames delivers an old-school L.A. crime novel that evokes Chandler with maybe an aftertaste of Bukowski. Readers expecting action won’t be let down, and the sparkling yet unpretentious language gives the whole an extra kick. Recommend to noir fans, action fans, anyone who likes a good read.
... exceptional ... While the macabre seriousness of the crimes and the narrator’s good-nature and sardonic humor might seem to be at odds, Ames makes it work through assured plotting, superb local color, and excellent prose. Readers will happily root for Doll, a good detective and a decent human, in this often funny and grisly outing.