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Book Review: An Accidental Affair by Eric Jerome Dickey

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Once again, Eric Jerome Dickey, with An Accidental Affair, has written a genre bending, a genre ‘blending’ story that is chalk full of danger, intrigue, mysterious characters with shady motives, murder, intrigue, moral lessons and obsession. Oh, and there’s sex. Lots of graphic, erotic, steamy, sweaty, climatic earth-quaking sex.

But, as the main protagonist James Thicke cautions, “When they, anyone, only talk about the sex, that is a gross under-estimation of what the material is about, and that takes away from, the character and plot development.

Dickey has a rare ability. Ernest Hemingway in For Whom The Bell Tolls wrote one of the most erotic scenes in literature and didn’t use any “profane” language. Dickey does the opposite. He has the ability to write those scenes in text book, dirty magazine language and yet make it so natural that it would almost… almost, be right at home in a classroom. And he can pepper dialogue with ‘F’ words and make it seem right at home as an amen in church. The ‘character and plot development’ are that good and the stories are told in such a gripping, suspenseful style that the sex scenes are just there so the reader can catch his/her breath.

The story opens with one of the best first paragraphs I have read in awhile; “I dropped the .38 on the passenger seat, then sped down a damp Sunset Boulevard. Johnny Handsome was bleeding, limping, running, fleeing, his trek looking like a scene from a horror film. He saw my car coming and stumbled out of the streets before I could mow him down.” Right away the reader is forewarned: you are in for a hardboiled, fast ride.

James Thicke has just beat Johnny Handsome down in the street. Pulled him from his vintage Porsche 550 Spyder, just like James Deans, and beat him down for having sex with his wife, Regina Baptiste. This was no simple accidental affair. This sex was scripted, only it wasn’t scripted by James like the rest of the movie starring his wife, Regina, the newest, sexiest female action star and Johnny ‘Handsome’ Bergs, a thuggish scion from a gangster family, and the hottest male star in Hollywood. The scene was filmed with the entire cast present, and now it is on the internet. And James Thicke, the hottest script writer — but this was adlibbed on the set, and was too explicit for even an ‘X’ Rating. Now, Thicke, a man whose mysterious past, has stayed buried as he channels all his energy into his two passions: being the best screenwriter around, and marriage to movie star Regina. Now his violent streak comes to the surface as feelings of betrayal, revenge, and murder come to roost in his heart.

But soon, even if his blood doesn’t cool, his mind, a mind that was sharp enough and determined enough to pull him from the ghettos of Europe to build a wealthy, privileged life, takes hold and shifts into damage control. Arriving at his estate, he finds neither Regina or her Bentley, but the paparazzi have taken up residence, so James calls his ‘driver,’ a character from an earlier book (Drive Me Crazy) who is, appropriately called Driver. Driver packs up his opulent office and meets James at an anonymous, if not for very long, Downey apartment. As James moves in he meets a few of the nosey, and friendly residents and ends up befriending, one middle aged man, Mr. Holder who has a much younger lover. James confides his identity to Mr. Holder and helps him hide his car and maintain his alias with the other neighbors.

Soon, James is confronted by various female neighbor ‘ladies’ who fall into his bed, seeing him as the fresh and sophisticated man in their dull lives. He is quick to take solace in the quick, no holds, and no strings sex that is offered. He soon finds himself in small intrigues with married and attached women that he hasn’t the time for. After all, he must get his mind and his soul around the betrayal as well as dodge the paparazzi, the police, and maybe most importantly, the murderous Bergs who are bent on extracting their pound of flesh for having ruined Johnny Handsome’s face and reputation as a tough guy.

Dickey exposes the perils and seedy side of life at the top of the Hollywood food chain and explores the bigger than life as well as all to down-to-Earth problems of a high profile marriage rocked (and beaten and shot at) by an An Accidental Affair. James and Regina will discover that the price of celebrity is nearly as high as the price of redemption.

Dickey is about to undertake an extensive author tour and signing engagements as well as a radio, print and other media as soon as the book hits the street on April 17. Check his website for dates and info on his other great works. Dickey has now conquered just about every genre of fiction like Napoleon going through Europe. This one is another smash.

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About The Dirty Lowdown

I was born in Pomona, California at a very young age. I had a pretty normal childhood…or I was a pretty normal child hood if mom is telling the story. I was a paperboy and washed cars. I was a soda fountain jock-jerk and a manic mechanic but my first real job was as a labor organizer in a maternity ward. Then, because of the misjudgment of a judge I spent nearly 10 years in the service of our country mostly on KP duty. Our country sure turns out a lot of dirty dishes. I am a past master at pots and pans. They eventually recognized my real talent and let me wander around some very unfriendly places carrying a big radio that didn’t work. Along the way I took up the bass guitar, jotting down stories, electronic engineering and earned a degree in advanced criminal activities. I spent most of my adult life, if you can call it that, working in the I.T. industry, which I was particularly suited for since we worked in rooms with no windows. On and off I taught in colleges, universities and reform schools as a student teacher… I like smog, traffic, kinky people, car trouble, noisy neighbors, and crowded seedy bars where I have been known to quote Raymond Chandler as pickup lines. I have always been a voracious reader, everything from the classics, to popular fiction, history to science but I have a special place in my heart for crime fiction, especially hard-boiled detective fiction and noir. I write a book and music review blog for all genres at The Dirty Lowdown. And another dedicated to Crime Fiction and all things Noir called Crimeways. It’s named after the magazine that appeared in the Kenneth Fearing classic, The Big Clock. There I write scholarly reviews of the classic hard boiled, noir and crime fiction books from the 20's through today. Mostly I drool over the salacious pictures on the covers. I also write for Tecnorati/BlogCritics where i am part of a sinister cabal of superior writers.