Home - Book Reviews - Satire Cold! Steel! Justice by Alexander O'Hara
Title: Cold! Steel! Justice!!!
Author: Alexander O’Hara
Release Date: 03/12/11
Pages: Full length novel
Publisher: Self Published
Format: E-book (390 KB)
Posted: June 11, 2011
Reviewer: Linda H
Rating: 4.5 (RR Top Pick Award)
Heat Level: N/A
Prepare to laugh yourself stupid: writer and journalist Darragh McManus has published comic crime novel Cold! Steel! Justice!!! as an e-book at Amazon and Smashwords. Written as Alexander O’Hara, the book is a rollicking, rocking riot of raw, roaring reading, about loose cannon cop Christian Beretta, his resurrected-from-the-dead sweetheart, his partner with an over-eating problem, and the evil Mayor who wants control of the drugs trade – and wants Beretta deader than dead… In Paradise City, all hell is about to break loose!
Cold! Steel! Justice!! !is a tour de force of action, comedy, comic-action, action-comedy, and a whole load of nonsense. Like all the great straight-to-video cop movies you remember from the 1980s, it’s packed with suspense, violence, action, smart quips, daring deeds, racial stereotypes, gratuitous nudity, men wearing bandanas in flagrant contravention of all rules of taste, and at least one scene where a Mexican druglord is incinerated in his own car. As convention and tradition dictate.
The renegade but good-hearted Beretta causes mayhem, busts things up, does cool things with big goddamn guns, cracks wise, breaks all the rules, gets the girl and saves the day. In a world of pain, he’s the Novocaine…if Novocaine wore a sexy leather overcoat, smoked 40 filterless a day and carried a hand-cannon so enormous it makes other hand-cannons wet their underpants.
So stand in line for YOUR fill…of Cold! Steel! Justice!!!
Cold! Steel! Justice!!!, by Alexander O’Hara pokes fun at crime and thriller movies as well as the whole crime genre in literature. I had to read passages to my family because I was laughing out loud so many times. None of us could hold back our laughter at the witty innuendos and dialogue entrenched between the characters. The actual story is very thin. But O’Hara’s humor, the satiric nods to the genre and to television shows, and the outrageous jokes made Cold! Steel! Justice!!! a delightful read. Just the names of some characters like Christian Beretta who named his favorite guns Siegfried and Roy, Uncle Lucas and Aunt Maybelline, Father Buttafucco, the Korean native Randy Park, Detective Tim McMurphy—better known as Spud, and Police Chief Gianluca Maldini were absolutely perfect.
O’Hara’s characterization of the main character ex-cop who got booted from the force, drinks far too much, and still likes to shoot before he asks, Christian Beretta, is a dead-on stereotype that literally makes this book. Beretta is called back to duty to help uncover a drug gang by his good old friend the police chief. However, Berreta’s extremely heavy smoking is what I found so comical. Each time Beretta lights up a cigarette, quite often with the one that he’s about to finish, he has another make of cigarette. “He used his old Camel to light his Winston” is one example. I think part of why I found this hysterical is that cigarettes are practically banned from movies and TV shows these days. So, having Beretta mention more brands than I could remember tickled my funny-bone with politically-incorrect finesse at the addiction and industry behind smoking.
Peppering every page are more of O’Hara’s politically-incorrect points drawing strong characters and dragging the reader deeper into his web of cultural reflection. Everyone can connect with Beretta’s good friend “Spud"—the black Irishman whose diet of donuts and his lazy behavior don’t get in the way of always being there for Beretta when it counts. Another is the “fatherly” relationship between Beretta and the Police Chief Gianluca Maldini. Although the two men clearly love and respect each other, they take great care to ensure everybody who sees them realizes their heterosexual relationship is just two friends showing each other their appreciation as O’Hara does with the line “They shook hands with such manly fore that a small tsunami was recorded 200 miles up the coast.” Another example of O’Hara’s entertaining and thorough characterization lies through his sketching of Gianluca Maldini as a man of few words in “He doled out words with all the generosity of Scrooge on a spending cut, but when he spoke, people listened.”
I loved Cold! Steel! Justice!!! and haven’t laughed so hard in a long time! I would recommend this book to anyone who feels like having more than a few good laughs, is ready for literary-criticism shredding, and is not afraid of a satiric story pointing out lovely things about life around us through O’Hara’s certain way with words.