Heads You Lose Author:Lisa Lutz, David Hayward Meet Paul and Lacey Hansen: orphaned, pot-growing twentysomething siblings eking out a living in rural Northern California. When a headless corpse appears on their property, they can't exactly dial 911, so they move the body and wait for the police to find it. Instead, the corpse reappears, a few days riper . . . and an amateur sleuth is bor... more »n. Make that two. « less
I should start my review by mentioning that Lisa Lutz is one of my favourite authors, and I highly recommend her Spellmans series.
As for this book, I would like to quote Lutz: "What was I thinking collaborating with an unpublished, narcissistic poet?"
My thoughts exactly. This book was painful to read. It felt like Hayward took Lutz's olive branch as an opportunity to mock and belittle her, while wasting her time as an author. The entire thing was a power struggle between the two, and I couldn't wait for the book to end. Hayward managed to make every single chapter into a jab at Lutz; purposely not taking her advice, ignoring major events, and making up obnoxious characters, including the almost personality-less main character, Paul. And don't even get me started on the stupid cat. If he had been willing to take advice from the actual crime novelist, this would have been completely different. Instead, the book came out feeling like he had ADD, and many of the characters seemed bipolar because of the lack of cooperation from Hayward.
If this had been his book, and he'd asked Lutz to help, I'd be on his side. Maybe. The inserts of their emails to each other make him seem like a petty child instead of the writing partner he was supposed to be.
Moral of the story: Do not work with someone you used to date.
This book promised me a mystery novel and laugh-out-loud moments. What I got was bickering and 300 pages of wishing it was over already. The only time I LOL'd was when Hayward suggested Terry Jakes would be the readers' favourite character. Um...no, but nice try. Doc Egan was at the time, and by-the-way, thanks for how THAT ended up.
If you don't expect too much and keep in mind that it is all unedited story, along with possibly finding squabbling interesting, you may have a chance of enjoyed this. Regrettably, I anticipated this novel way too much.
I love Lisa Lutz and the Spellman Files. Love. I'd read a couple of not-good reviews of this collaboration, but it worked for me. I thought the running joke of the uneasy collaboration was funny and the mystery itself engaging. I'd love to see the same book with the other chapters written by any of the authors Lisa names throughout the book. The plot construction is a pleasure to watch, especially as they do tie things up in the end.