Saturday, June 11, 2022

Kill All the Judges (Arthur Beauchamp #3)

Kill All the Judges: An Arthur Beauchamp Novel, Book 3

Kill All the Judges is a frenetic dark legal crime comedy/drama, and the third Arthur Beauchamp novel by William Deverell. Originally published in 2008, this audiobook format, read by Michael Benyaer was released 15th May 2022 by ECW Press. The book has 332 pages in print format and is available in all formats. 

This is a very dryly humorous book with a large cast of unlikable and out-of-control secondary characters and an absolutely frenetic plot with wall-to-wall drugs, mayhem, and murder. The author is unquestionably talented and adept at his craft. The writing is technically brilliant although the reader is dragged along for the ride. There were numerous places in the narrative where I was by turns disgusted by the scenes being written and simultaneously amazed at the sheer difficulty of writing the point of view and scene descriptions in any comprehensible manner. 

In some ways it reminded me of Hunter S. Thompson's more frenzied offerings wrapped around the core of a solid murder mystery. The writing is very very good. The characters (with the possible exception of the series protagonist Arthur Beauchamp) are very very bad. There are great swathes of the book which are NSFW with drugs, explicit sex, felonies galore, and murder. I didn't enjoy the read very much and I strongly suspect that readers will have to be fond of nearly surreal gonzo sex, drugs, and rock & roll in their fiction to be in the right frame of mind. For those blessed few, this is a series which is currently still being written and will be a good candidate for binge reading. Book 8 was released in 2021. 

The unabridged audiobook has a run time of 13 hours and 15 minutes. The narrator does a masterful job of voicing a massive cast of characters with a wide variety of accents and ages. I was impressed by the narration and repelled at the action of the characters at the same time. The sound and production quality were high throughout the recording.

Three and a half stars. Definitely a different read and a niche one. It is blackly funny and well written.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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