Publication Date: March 30, 2012
Private Investigator and “Charter Member of Unscrupulous Bastards R Us” (Kindle location 1974), Brett Cornell, is a prime piece of all-American beef who has deemed instant gratification a way of life. He’s irresistible; just ask him; he’ll tell you. When a one-night stand calls to say that her husband is trying to kill her, Brett knows the real reason, she’s back for round two. Brett takes her case and finds himself in the middle of a murder mystery. Nothing the great Brett Cornell can’t handle.
Brett Always Wins is the third book in the Brett Cornell series.
Brett is awful, sexist, horrible, vulgar and gratuitously violent but he is SO FUNNY. I am a big Tim Dorsey fan and could not help but conjure Serge Storms while reading this character. Brett lives in a world of his own making. He’s always been so pretty and been able to get people to do whatever he wants, and he’s been exposed to women who will put up with his nonsense to be around him. He’s never seen the need to develop any sort of moral compass. This is a guy who will tie two people to chairs in his bedroom and then go on about his life as though they’d disappeared.
The magic of D’Aguanno’s writing is that we know despite the first person P.O.V. that Brett is the only one who thinks he’s awesome. I had to laugh several times at the internal play that Brett gave us juxtaposed with what was actually going on with the narrative. He’s a looker in a 70s’-cop-show kind of way, but everyone finds out sooner or later that Brett’s beauty is only skin deep. He’s the guy who tries to persuade a woman to have sex with him by pointing out what a great time they were having until her roommate was found dead. This is also the guy who is spitting on the carpet and belching like he’s conditioning to win a gold medal in gas expulsion.
This was an excellently fun read that went really quickly. The story was told in Brett’s own vernacular which made the flow really smooth and fast. Brett is the King of Malapropisms and some of his turns of phrase are going into this reader’s regular vocabulary. He has extreme douchebag tendencies in a way that this is not a man you ever want to meet and certainly never would want to sleep with which, of course, Brett would never get.
The one character I had trouble believing was Ginger. Why would she stay with a man who treats her the way Brett does? Brett gives us insight into that in a rare moment of focus away from himself when he says that she’s a sadomasochist that gets off on being treated like crap (Kindle location 2320). I can tell you that because this story isn’t about Ginger.
There were points when Brett’s self-love was a bit much but D’Aguanno tempers those moments well with the other characters. I would have liked to see more done with Salvo and maybe we get that in a later book. The mystery story was spare but solid and as Brett is telling us the story you’d expect the true focus to be what it was…himself.
This was a fun and fast read. It’s detective fiction in a very light form.
I highly recommend this book. I plan to get the previous two books in the series tonight.
Read an excerpt and buy Brett Always Wins by David D’Aguanno.