This one-liner on the cover describes this audiobook perfectly: “The Coen Brothers meet Carl Hiaasen.” If that sounds good, this might be the series for you! The first book, Plugged, introduced us to Irish soldier-turned-New Jersey-bouncer Daniel McEvoy, and the second starts right where we left him, in a bit of a mess with “Plastic Paddy” Mike Madden, trying to figure out his relationship with his delusional sort-of-girlfriend, annoyed with the most annoying best friend in the world, and revamping his casino and nightclub. As you might imagine (this being “screwball noir” and all) that things don’t go well, and then they go to poop in hilarious fashion.
Zany characters from the first novel return, and we are introduced to some new faces: Dan’s young aunt, his younger step-gran and her personal trainer, a 22 year old crime boss with his Irish assistant Freckles, and old Mrs. “Bunny” Madden, to name a few. I could have done with less of the Worst Shrink In The World, Dr. Moriarty, but most of the characters did add to the story. There’s a hostage situation in a porn studio, a shootout with men in matching underwear, a dead racehorse at the bottom of a river, a ninja with string bracelets, an old lady struck by lightning, a magically reappearing ex-con, and a Botox party, and that’s not even half the action (or the order in which anything occurs).
Daniel seems more tired in this instalment (and who wouldn’t be after the first books ordeals!) and a little more sad. There is a lot of introspection and some (possibly unnecessary) fourth wall breaking where the narrator explains how books work. The language isn’t something your (or at least my) mother would approve of, surprising for an author who built his career on middle grade fiction, the very popular Artemis Fowl books.
The reader for this book is excellent, with a native Irish accent and convincing American accents. I would have enjoyed this series less if I had read the paperbacks. John Keating is a fabulous voice actor, and brought a lot of life and light to the production. I couldn’t put it down, and listened to the entire thing in 3 days.