Hoodtown by Christa Faust
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
X, a disgraced former luchadora, takes it upon herself to figure out who has been murdering Hood prostitutes all over Hoodtown, and worse for a Hood, unmasking them! All signs point to Black Eagle, a former wrestler known for being rough with women. But Black Eagle died in a car bomb explosion years ago... or did he?
Wow. Christa Faust really knows how to write noir with a female protagonist. She showed me that in The Money Shot and has shown it again in Hoodtown. She has the knack for taking the reader into worlds they ordinarily wouldn't go, like the porn industry in The Money Shot or a fictional ghetto inhabited by masked people living lives immersed in the lucha libre culture.
The mystery is well done. Faust had me guessing what was going on most of the time. X isn't a super heroine. She takes a number of beatings but keeps going when she reallizes no one else cares. Her relationships with Jaguar De Juarez and Malasuerte are both believable. X's past, revealed in bits and pieces, is also good. I had an idea of what the ending would be but it still hit me like a steel chair.
My favorite aspect of this book, though, is the life she infuses Hoodtown with. She explains the ins and outs of Mexican wrestling well and even provides a glossary of terms in the back. Hoodtown could have wound up being an unbelievable place but wound up feeling real despite being populated by people who always wear wrestling masks.
I'm officially recommending Hoodtown to fans of noir and pro wrestling fans.
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