The fifth instalment in the Selena series, Everglade is a smart, streetwise novel about a smart, streetwise woman set on making crime pay.
Greg Barth delivers a strong novel as he charts the continued struggles of a cultured criminal trying to start afresh, but finding that life isn’t always that easy. Having barely survived the last drug war, Selena wants out, and is trying to build a new life for herself and clean up her act. But things aren’t that simple when you are walking away from a lucrative business in a trade where murder is as common as liquorice in a sweet shop, leading our likeable anti-heroine on a one woman war against some incredibly devious and powerful enemies.
Dialogue is a bit hit and miss, with some terribly tedious conversations punctuated by some witty one liners and some sharp, insightful comments. There are some great lines: “It’s just my kitchen. And I don’t care who I had to kill to get it.” However, these are often punctuated by clunky discussions and unrealistic conversations (at times, the level of concern for Selena’s wellbeing is wearing, given her otherwise excellent characterisation as a tough, hard-hitting criminal). Consistency would make the book a lot easier to read and ramp up the pace, but beyond that it is very difficult to fault this smart, charismatic thriller.
All in all this is an interesting and exhilarating thriller. With an interesting protagonist and a fast paced plot, this is a rip-roaring novel which is worth a read for the main character alone.