Review: “Blonde Ice,” R.G. Belsky

Pros: Great characterizations
Cons: One spot that confused me
Rating: 4 out of 5

R.G. Belsky’s Blonde Ice: A Gil Malloy Novel follows (obviously) Gil Malloy, a hot-shot journalist who likes jumping into the middle of trouble. A woman named Victoria Isaacs (formerly a high-priced escort named Houston) believes her husband is cheating on her and hired a private investigator, Melissa Ross, to find out. Now her husband has been missing for two days.

Here I must pause briefly to discuss characterization. Gil is the main character, and he definitely has… issues. What impressed me though is one particular sentence. While Victoria is upset (obviously) over what might have happened to her husband, Gil is already wondering if he should ask her out on a date:

“I decided it would be extremely tacky for me to ask her out on a date while she waited to find out” (whether her husband is alive and okay).

Now that is a brilliant piece of characterization condensed into a single sentence. We immediately know he has some understanding of social norms (since he realized it might be ‘tacky’). He probably sees those norms in transactional terms rather than as actual rules. It also sounds like he’s pretty non-empathetic since he’d even thought about the possibility seriously. One sentence. So much personality. Brilliant characterization. (And in fact, his personality and actions and words through the story were entirely in keeping with that one sentence.)

There’s a side storyline in which Gil’s ex-wife Susan comes back into his life. She’s probably the only person I can imagine keeping up with and understanding Gil in the long run. He’s already decided he wants to marry her again and also keeps trying to convince her to come to bed. To him it’s just obvious this needs to happen. (Did I mention that lack of empathy?)

Where everything fell down for me is when we got into a roulette wheel of drop-dead-gorgeous blond women, some of whom are the same woman, and some of whom are not. I totally lost track of the hot blonde women. Which is pretty funny, actually. As an aside, I have no idea why there’s a scene in here that turns into a lesson on making beef stroganoff casserole.

Gil’s rather unique personality made this book a lot of fun. The characterization of him stayed with him beautifully.

 
NOTE: Free book provided by publisher in return for honest review
Expected publication date: October 18, 2016

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