Thursday, July 4, 2013

Review: THE BADDEST ASS by Anthony Neil Smith

The Baddest Ass - (Billy Lafitte, #3)Prison horror in all its gore and glory is magnified by this deep seeded and often confronting survival noir where a cell block is more attune to a morgue and a shank little more than a bee sting. Inside Anthony Neil Smiths’ third Lafitte novel is a story of bad men (and women) doing bad things in very bad ways. Lafitte is in prison following the events from HOGDOGGIN; a prime target by the prison population by virtue of an alleged link to terrorism. Nothing new for Lafitte here, he’s used to people trying to kill him. What he isn’t prepared for is an all in riot orchestrated by prisoners and guards alike in an attempt to hide his death amongst the chaos. Making matters worse, his young son and mother in-law are visiting at the time when existence inside the prison turns pitch black and deep red.

Special Agent Colleen wants Lafitte dead and is willing to go the extreme to exact her deadly form of vengeance. Enlisting the services of gang leader Ri’Chess to handle the hit, Colleen soon finds herself going the extra mile to ensure Ri’Chess is amenable to her request. Once the deed is done, the terms set, the prison is shut off from the outside world. Isolated and in the midst of a blizzard, the prison quickly resembles a slaughterhouse as guards, prisoners, and a few visitors fight for their lives.

There is so much to like about THE BADDEST ASS, Anthony Neil Smith envelopes the reader in a blanket of claustrophobia and fear as Lafitte stumbles from one brutal encounter to the next in a bid to save his son and mother-in-law from the violent inmates.

Like SLAMMER by Allan Guthrie, THE BADDEST ASS shows how good prision noir can be. This one is more violent, yet equally good.

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