The first book in Bill Fitzhugh's sharp and savvy thriller series, Assassin Bugs.
Bob Dillon can't get a break. A down-on-his-luck exterminator, all he wants is success with his radical new, environmentally friendly pest-killing technique. So Bob decides to advertise.
Unfortunately, one of his flyers falls into the wrong hands. Marcel, a shady Frenchman, needs an assassin to handle a million-dollar hit, and he figures that Bob Dillon is his man. Through no fault - or participation - of his own, this unwitting pest controller from Queens has become a major player in the dangerous world of contract murder.
And now Bob's running for his life through the wormiest sections of the Big Apple - one step ahead of a Bolivian executioner, a homicidal transvestite dwarf, meatheaded CIA agents, cabbies packing serious heat... and the world's number-one hit man, who might just turn out to be the best friend Bob's got.
PRAISE FOR THE ASSASSIN BUGS SERIES
'One of the funniest, most off-beat thrillers... an action-packed plot stuffed with streetwise lines and larger than life characters.' The Times
'Wild and clever fun.' Carl Hiaasen
'Does for beetles what Jurassic Park did for dinosaurs… within its fascinating pages is a cast of creepy crawlies whose murderous methods put human predators to shame. Perfect holiday reading.' Liverpool Daily Post
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 3 members
I enjoyed Pest Control. It is well written and amusing, if bonkers. It has some of the wit and craziness of Carl Hiaasen about it and I suspect if you like Hiaasen, you’ll like this. Bob Dillon (!) is an entomologist who is somewhat obsessed with bugs and dreams of starting an environmentally-friendly pest extermination business. By a somewhat ridiculous chain of misunderstandings he is hired as a hit man (although he doesn’t realise it) and then becomes the target of the world’s top assassins. It’s a good story if you don’t expect grim realism and it is full of comic episodes. Some are very funny, some a little less so, but I found it very entertaining overall. Bill Fitzhugh uses his character’s name to sneak in a huge array of references to Dylan titles and lyrics. Again, some are neat and smile-inducing, while the unsubtle gratuitousness of others does grate a bit. For example, I liked one trapped characters saying to another “There must be some way out of here,” and a reminiscence about being lost one time in Juarez in the rain, which fitted the narrative, but I could have done without a wholly gratuitous description of a passer-by wearing a leopardskin pillbox hat or character shooting someone and then yelling, “Those were shots of love! Infidel!” Minor reservations aside, I did find this a very entertaining read overall and I’ll definitely try some more of Bill Fitzhugh’s books. Recommended. (My thanks to Farrago for an ARC via NetGalley.)