Waiting at a diner for a friend to join you for breakfast is a common enough experience for many of us. But when your friend is just getting off of work from the strip club across the street, yeah, that’s a bit different.
Lina Chern’s Sparkle Shot (Fahrenheit Press) is a great slice of life crime fiction that tells the story of Karma, the stripper, and Mara, her post-graduate friend, as they try to get a hold of a confusing situation involving a hooker, an aging strip club owner, an Eastern European pimp dreaming of being an Old West gunslinger, and an attractive drug dealer who hangs out by the back door at the strip club. Seriously, what other reasons do you need to read this book?
Chern has a knack for writing some wonderful dialogue between characters giving the novel a dose of reality. Her use of flashbacks during the few hours of the story is always well done.
The first girl Rusty sold was to a tubby VP of Business Development who reeked of BO and pretended to confuse the US state of Georgia with Alavidze’s homeland. He milked the joke all night and Rusty laughed every single time. He charged the man three times the going rate, telling him he could settle for some snaggle-toothed slut, or he could have a sweet young virgin, fresh as a Caucasus mountain flower. He told the man to wait in his hotel room while Rusty went home, woke his sister Nadya, told her to put on the black dress Aunt Zina had sewn for her for New Year’s Day, and come to a job interview.
I am looking forward to reading more from Chern as well as from the publisher Fahrenheit Press.