Most helpful positive review
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
"A highly sexed criminal fairy-story"
on September 26, 2004
... such is the description that appears on the cover of the UK edition of Sweet and Vicious and which I think accurately conveys the style and substance of this very entertaining novel. What cannot be so easily described is the writing, which often stopped me in my tracks as I found myself re-reading passages in admiration. The other reviews posted here should already give you a pretty good idea of the plot and main characters, so I'll let Schickler's writing speak for itself and try to point out some of the nuances that I think make this book not only a great read, but also demonstrate the author's talent and imagination. Take, for example, the following passage that describes Hilda Reisch, a sexual conquest of secondary character Roger Pobrinkis (one of the gangsters pursuing main characters Henry Dante & Grace McGlone): "Hilda was a towering, pale-skinned adjunct professor visiting from Denmark, maybe thirty-five, a woman who rarely showed smiles but always showed leg. She shod herself daily in skirts and low boots. She wore her black permed-out hair like an explosion on her head, and her eyes, also black, dismissed almost everything they saw." Or, take this description of Grace's reaction to hapless Stewart McFigg and the sincere yet inadvertently hilarious valentine that he presents to her in front of their sixth grade class: "In response, Grace delivered a stinging public rebuke of Stewart, in which she blamed him for all the freckles beginning to plague her body, claiming that the years of blushing brought on by his advances had triggered the speckling of her skin." These are but a sampling of inspired passages to be found throughout the novel, making for a unique and memorable reading experience. I highly recommend this book.