Picks and Pans Review: Sweet and Vicious

UPDATED 09/20/2004 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 09/20/2004 at 01:00 AM EDT

by David Schickler

bgwhite bgwhite bgwhite  

It's obvious from the first of its breezy pages that Sweet and Vicious is aiming not for crime-drama realism, but something both grander and sillier. A devoutly Christian, flame-haired beauty named Grace falls for a mobster named Dante with knuckles so spiky they're called "devil's horns" by the unlucky victims of his left hook. Dante is on the run with a priceless, stolen collection of diamonds called "the Planets." Hot ice, grace and inferno, a cache of sparkling worlds purchased with blood...it's enough unapologetic symbolism to bog down a more typical thriller-romance.

But debut novelist Schickler (his short story collection, Kissing in Manhattan, came out in 2001) keeps the reader laughing with an oddball supporting cast, including a Mob knee-breaker named Floyd whose malapropisms–"I've got an ass to grind with that guy"–are more colorful than the clichés they mangle.

There are also plenty of expertly choreographed, improbably cop-free public spectacles of violence and lovemaking–Grace and Dante even get it on behind a fairground's fried-dough concession booth. This is a fun but thoughtful read for those who appreciate complicated collisions of opposites.


Your Reaction

Follow Us

On Newsstands Now

Inside Kate's Life as a Princess Mom
  • Inside Kate's Life as a Princess Mom
  • A Duggar Engaged
  • Amanda Bynes: The Truth About Her Condition

Pick up your copy on newsstands

Click here for instant access to the Digital Magazine


From Our Partners

Watch It

Editors' Picks

From Our Partners

Sign up for our daily newsletter and other special offers.
    Choose your newsletters
Thank you for signing up! Your request may take up to one week to be processed.
    see all newsletters