To Hell with Johnny Manic
by Andrew Diamond
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Pub Date 01 Aug 2019 | Archive Date 15 Oct 2019
John Manis, aka Johnny Manic—charming, stylish, impulsive, and reckless—is racked with guilt over the secret he doesn't dare tell. Marilyn Dupree, passionate and volatile, has too much money and the wrong husband. Johnny and Marilyn have a chemistry like nitrogen and glycerine, and that makes Detective Lou Eisenfall very uneasy. A twisting tale of deception, murder, and psychological suspense that barrels along at breakneck pace, Johnny Manic is a throwback to the classic crime fiction of Raymond Chandler, Jim Thompson, Dorothy Hughes, and Patricia Highsmith.
"A truly riveting tale of deception, murder and psychological suspense. Part psychological thriller, part noir, Diamond has accomplished the incredibly difficult task of deriving true suspense from the battle for supremacy going on within [the narrator's] own mind. The Bottom Line: One of the year’s best thrillers." - BestThrillers.com
This is no light whodunit, but a complex psychological piece that pits the efforts of Detective Lou Eisenfall to solve not just a crime, but the roots of a relationship that descends into madness... Diamond cultivates an engrossingly dark vision of a protagonist whose alter ego takes over in many different ways. The build-up of psychological suspense and the evolution of evil is truly compelling. To Hell with Johnny Manic is very highly recommended for crime readers who like their stories introspective, brooding, and psychologically astute. - D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review
"For lovers of crime fiction, there can be no more seductive catnip than a caper about a compromised antihero desperate to change his life for the better, the unhappily married femme fatale who is going to make that exceedingly difficult, a detective who is suspicious of both of them, and a rising body count... Diamond nails an evocative, nihilistic, hard-boiled style that fans of Jim Thompson and the like will admire... A feverishly readable psychological noir." - Kirkus Reviews
"Filled with high octane suspense, chemistry, action, intrigue, and deception, we find ourselves focused on the dangerous and powerful pairing of John Manis (the Johnny Manic of the novel’s title) and the beautiful Marilyn Dupree. Intuitive detective Lou Eisenfall has a bad feeling about these two volatile spirits coming together, particularly since Johnny’s wild lifestyle implies there’s a lot of darkness going on under the surface. What results is a powerful and engaging mystery that changes gear at every turn, charging towards a dangerous and disastrous conclusion for everyone involved... a gripping read that will keep you in your seat from cover to cover." -- Readers' Favorite (5 stars)
"A tough, twisted tale of distorted dreams and evil plans going wrong in every direction. Anti-hero Gantry is likeable enough, trying in his blundering way to do the right thing while falling deeper into a hole of his own digging. The cinematic plot is thoroughly engrossing, with tortuous turns and all the wrong characters showing up at all the wrong times. Manic’s work assignments with a varied cast of colorful customers provide a few breaks in the unnerving, rapidly escalating scenario of deception piled on deception. The cleverly conceived aspect of dual personality - Manis slowly gaining sway over Manic - adds a fascinating layer. Diamond manages all these threads deftly, with subtle humor and a wealth of forensic and personal detail."- Feathered Quill Book Reviews
Very evocative of the multilayered Fight Club and Gone Girl. The reader travels with the protagonist who is well developed and constantly evolving. Whether he wants to evolve is something that he answers through the course of Johnny Manic. The supernatural overtones serve the story well although this could be read as straight noir. Johnny and the plot sucked me in and didn't let me go until I was finished listening to what they had to tell me. - George Bounacos / Goodreads
A DartFrog selection for in-store distribution. More to come...
A DartFrog selection for in-store distribution. More to come...
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 15 members
Really enjoyed this one from page one until the end. I never knew what was going to happen next. zCharacters were very vivid and this book has more depth than others in the same genre!
To Hell With Johnny Manic is a well crafted totally amazing murder mystery. Edgy and fast-paced its a hell of a wild ride!
The description of this book enticed me to give it a go - and I'm happy to report it more than lived up to expectations. Part thriller, part ill-fated romance and a whole lot of throwback to vintage crime Raymond Chandler-style, I must say I enjoyed every minute of reading it.
As the story begins, we find a guy named Tom Gantry blowing money to the wind in a Las Vegas casino. He's not there as Tom, though; he's really a fugitive from Illinois who's taken over the identity of a man named John Manis (who's also known as Johnny Manic). It seems Tom embezzled a ton of money, got caught and went to jail, got out and violated parole, so a new identity was a must to avoid capture.
When he's down to his last $10,000, give or take a few shekels, Johnny cuts his losses and heads to Napa, California, in hopes of buying a tech repair company from a computer whiz who wants to do something else with his life. There, he meets a femme fatale named Marilyn Dupree, who's married to a filthy rich but philandering dude named Bastion. Sparks fly the very first time they eyeball each other, so it's inevitable that they'd hook up even though it's clearly a match made in hell.
Throw into the mix at least one other unsavory character, a couple of untimely deaths and Lou Eisenfall, a detective who's suspicious of everybody but hones in on Johnny and Marilyn like a fly on a honeypot. Stir up that pot, add a twist or two of spice and you've got a very entertaining and well-written story. Thanks to the publisher, via NetGalley, for providing me with a pre-publication copy to read and review.
First, let me say I really liked it...even though it was one of the craziest thrillers I've read in a long time. Johnny Manic has at least 3 identities and you're still not sure you know him. Without fiving any spoilers, let's just say hang on to your hat and jump into the twists, turns, and unexpected plunges that will leave you breathless. If you like zany adventures, don't miss it!
Thanks to Net Galley and the publisher for providing an advance copy.