Book Review: For Your Damned Love

My Recent Posts

You should never start reading in the middle of a book series. But you should also never write in multiple genres before finding your audience, and I did that too, so what the heck.


But Doc Hardesty, American living in Mexico and sort-of retired mercenary, isn’t the main focus of most of this story, at least not at first. Instead it’s about Dancy, a rich debutant visiting Mexico with her over-his-head drug dealing husband. The husband has made a deal to turn Dancy over to a Mexican drug lord, who will use her and then have her killed.


But everyone underestimates Dancy, starting with the two underling kidnappers she beats up with a tennis racket—while naked. Soon Dancy has taken over the cartel herself, leaving a trail of death and destruction behind her, while Hardesty hires on to track her down.


For Your Damned Love” reminds me of the old James Bond style spy books: full of sex and action (in this case much of it graphic), but also lyrical descriptions of exotic settings. You get a real feel for the territory, and it’s clear Linton Robinson knows Mexico. There also philosophical discussions that slow the story down, sometimes to a crawl. But here’s the thing: All the set pieces and talks about music and communism are so entertaining, and done so well, that going through them isn’t so much of a wade as a respite from the one-woman disaster squad.


In the end Mexico becomes a character, every bit as much as Hardesty, the chaos-loving Dancy, and the doomed men who circle around her. It’s not the kind of thing that would fly in the publishing world today … and maybe that’s what’s wrong with the publishing world today.



Mircea Negres Added Feb 1, 2018 - 4:16am
Mark, I reckon an author may write all sorts of fanciful things, but it's best for events to be set in a real locale. I'm currently facing a bit of a conundrum with my book, because the settings are real. Problem is, I lack the money to visit a certain town about 1200 km away, spend a few days talking to locals and to hire a small plane for at least an hour's fly around, while Google Earth is a fairly poor substitute. Heck, what might work is a tabletop-sized topographical map (gotta plan a makeshift military defense, troop deployments and force mix, as well as what the attackers will bring, how they'll get there and what they'll do), but that's veeeery expensive and lacks minutiae such as the state of buildings, smell of environment, personalities of people and so on.
But yeah, they just don't publish books like they used to. There was a lot of trash among the pulp, and still is. However, there were some gems too, for some dirty and fanciful guilty pleasure of reading if nothing else. By the way, the model looks like she was gonna get chafed nipples without a shirt under that combat jacket and very likely her wrists broken if she ever fired those customised Beretta 92s... :-)) 
Mark Hunter Added Feb 1, 2018 - 5:09am
I've heard it's possible to write a pretty good setting just through researching the place, but it's a lot easier to stand there and soak it all in. My Storm Chaser books are mostly set in a fictional little town, but that town is at a real location, about three miles from my home--and of course, I live in a real little town. Radio Red involves a fictional radio station, but that station is in a real area of rural Michigan that I've visited quite often. When we wrote Hoosier Hysterical, my wife and I traveled all across the state of Indiana, to get a real sense of the places we were writing about--tax deductible travel! But that's only a few hundred miles at most, all easily driven to on camping trips.
Really, it's hard to accurately represent the place without, as you say, taking in the smell and feel, and the people. 
As for guilty pleasure of reading--I'm fine with that! A lot of my reading is stuff other people would look down their noses at, and probably my writing would also be on their list.
As for that book's cover, all I keep thinking is that she's going to accidentally blow her head off.