A while back I read a great book by CS DeWildt (Love You to a Pulp)and I loved it so much I thought I would try out one of his earlier novels and I am really glad I made that decision. Candy and Cigarettes is as good as its successor is and I loved everything about it.
This offering from DeWildt is a short novella but it packs a punch equal to some longer works of other authors. It centers on Lloyd Bizbang, who has been tormented throughout his life because he was present at his younger sister’s death (and inadvertently contributed to it) and also had a hand in his grandmother’s death. When death follows a young child this closely, a stigma is sure to develop and Llyod has done little in lfe to rid himself of the dark cloud that follows him around.
His main rivals are Terry and Zeke Cutter who are burning a path of criminal destruction through the town and making things appear that Llyod has a hand in the crimes. These two are angry, vengeful brothers who set out to make Llyod’s life a living hell and have succeeded at every turn. Their crimes are becoming more violent and they set themselves onto a path of sure destruction.
The novella also features the Chief of Police who is has found out he is terminally ill and that news has set him on a self-destructive path and he seems set on taking Lloyd down with him. His mental instability made the chapters featuring him a blast to read and he adds a good deal of depth to the story.
The book has a lightening paced plot and the characters all have life to them. If I had to pick out the one thing I didn’t like about the book, I would say it was too short! The writing chops that DeWildt has were on full display here and I am glad I devoured this book. If you haven’t sampled this author yet, you need to rectify that immediately.