Dirty Deeds
by Sheri Lewis Wohl, contemporary (2010)
Liquid Silver Books, $5.95, ISBN 978-1-59578-677-8


A missing word in the official synopsis of this story may lead you to believe that this is a romance between a brother and a sister, but do take note that this is not the case. The heroine of Dirty Deeds, Louie Russell, is a bounty hunter. She will be romancing Paul McDonald, the brother of the guy she is chasing down as part of her job.

Dope dealer James McDonald took off on a $100,000 bail and now Louie's boss wants her to track him down and haul that fellow back to the can where he belongs. If she succeeds within twenty days, she gets an extra five percent on top of her current commission. Meanwhile, Paul wants to track his younger brother down too because their parents would lose everything as a result of Jamie going MIA. It is perhaps inevitable that Louie and Paul bump into each other along the way.

Despite being marketed as a romance, Dirty Deeds has a very little romance, so this is one story better off read by fans of suspense and crime stories. Even so, I'm not sure whether I can recommend this one to them as the writing here is rather clunky.

For one, the author tends to jump into unnecessary tangents in the middle of a scene, such as one where I am subjected to the history of a secondary character that plays no vital role in the plot just because the heroine visits that character's place. And then, I just don't get scenes that are meant to be funny. The exchange below has me scratching my head, for example.

"How much time?" she asked.

"Joe Harper's the Assistant U.S. Attorney on this one and he gave me a call. He'll hold off on a motion for bond forfeiture until the end of the month. I promised him you would drag the boy back so I'm counting on you not to make a liar out of me." He popped the final chunk of the candy into his mouth and licked his lips, a satisfied smile on his face.

"Great, Harry, I love it when you make promises on my behalf. Any leads on where this little fellow took off to?"

"Yeah, he went north."

There were reasons why she was the field person and Harry stayed in the office. She let out a long sigh. "You're just a bundle of information, Studhorse."

"Yeah, well, I'm the money, baby, you're the great white hunter."

"Some kind of Indian you are. You don't even pretend to try."

"Naw, too much work and I think you forget, I'm the chief so I get to order trackers around. That's what a chief does these days. Besides, I did my time, now it's my turn to sit on my fat ass and watch someone younger and much better looking do all the hard work. Does the old heart good, if you know what I mean." He tapped a finger to his chest.

The heroine is pretty tough and hardy, I'd give Ms Wohl that, but I have a hard time fully getting into the story because of the author's writing style. I'd like to know more of what the characters are thinking, but the author has a style that gives more emphasis on telling than showing. This style, I feel, could work well in a dry and gritty suspense story, but in this particularly story, that style also prevents the romance from coming to life. Then there are exchanges and lines meant to be funny, but somehow I just don't get the author's timing and delivery. Oh well, I'd just chalk this one up as something that is just not to my taste.

Rating: 61


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