Fabian Nicieza! Dig it. He was all Stan the Man for Marvel during the nineties and early aughts with a resume stronger than Colossus: X-Men; X-Force; New Warriors; Thunderbolts! And oh yeah, co-created some wiseass Ryan Reynolds played in a movie or three.
Now the big Fabe has gone and wrote up a genuine crime novel and it sizzles hotter than the pork-fried rice at Benihana’s.
Suburban Dicks is set in the sarcastic wilds of West Windsor, New Jersey. For those who might only be hip on Manco & Manco Pizza in Ocean City or the Devils’ home of Newark, the scene of crime in this fun novel lies dead on north east from Trenton and less than hour from the much more serious environs of Philadelphia cheesesteaks. An Indian gas attendant is murdered and while the WWPD stumble around, former profiler and now severely-pregnant mom Andrea Stern – and four times over at that – sets her hormone-driven anxiety to solving the crime. Along for the ride is former glory-hound reporter Ken Lee who is looking for his next big break in order to sell the rights to Netflix. What they uncover is another murder, an older one. After all, nothing is ever easy in Jersey, especially where everything is legal. Unless you’re caught.
Nicieza combines dry humor with pulp fiction like he was writing for Reese’s. And brother, is it yummy
Yet goofy accounting and situational humor aside, Nicieza has created a fantastically-entertaining crime novel loaded with personal angst for all main characters. More importantly? He analyzes the abject, deep-rooted seriousness of racism and imparts his commentary on the subject showing that everyone is equal. That skin color provides no barrier in the ways of family, love, community, dreams. And oh yes, murder. Even in Jersey.
Suburban Dicks is more than a wry reference to detective work in the ‘burbs. This is epitomizing that Jersey swagger in a fun, filthy crime novel. And there needs to be more.
Thanks to Netgalley and GP Putnam’s Sons for the quick trip up I-295.