Hart is a proven master of the intentionally unbalanced narrative ... the taste of crime is distilled into every morsel of food and drink that is woven into Hart’s complex and often grotesque storylines. Without exception, each moves with unnerving efficiency, usually not to a predictable conclusion, but to an abrupt end ... Like some dishes whose seasoning is never quite right on the palate, yet compel us to take another and another bite, Hart’s tortuous tales remind us that fiction can be as strange as real life when viewed from underneath ... a superb series of tight, visceral experiences for those with strong stomachs who love to read dangerously.
An excellent collection of suspenseful crime dramas. The characters in each story vary in race, gender, and social situation, but the reader is easily transported into each new situation and mindset. I was able to move from one story to the next often without a beat between page turns ... there were a few stories that left me flipping back through the pages asking myself, 'Where was the tie to food?' ... a delicious collection of entertaining stories that will keep any reader asking for seconds. It’s a book I’d recommend any crime-fiction fan add to their collection for some light-hearted reading in between dark novels. Plus, an added bonus is that a collection of food-based crime-fiction is an excellent talking piece for anyone’s bookshelves often browsed by visitors.
Hart’s magical way with language is still in evidence here, but too many of the stories taper off without going anywhere. Still, there are some high points: 'The Gift of the Wiseguy' leaves a delightfully bitter aftertaste, and 'Foodies' will deliver a special jolt to anyone who’s read Stanley Ellin’s The Specialty of the House. Keep paying attention to Hart: the breakout is coming.