I Shot You Babe
Coney Island (Cy) Bombay has a PhD in philosophy. Jobs in this area are not exactly thick on the ground, and Cy would never do anything so mundane as teach, so he works as a carney. Cy travels the circuit with his best friend, a guinea pig named Sartre. While Cy relaxes, he knits if he isn’t boinking a carney groupie. Cy is also a professional assassin. The Bombay family have been hired killers for centuries, and they have it down to a fine science. Cy only kills a couple of people a year and, anyway, they deserve it like the murderer/drug dealer he kills in chapter three.
Cy meets the heroine, PhD student Veronica Gale, who is researching transient lifestyles when she interviews him. They strike some tepid sparks off each other even though Veronica is a bit put off by Cy, since frankly, the man is a slut. Anyway, Cy takes off to pursue his latest interest – wrestling – in Mongolia. (What, you were expecting he’d try his hand at crocheting?) While in Mongolia, Cy throws himself into wrestling with enthusiasm and works hard at his moves. But the long arm of the Bombay clan pursues him and he’s tapped to take out a Dutch mercenary who just so happens to be in Mongolia.
And guess who else shows up? Yep, Veronica who is researching men and violence. Her committee thinks her thesis is stiff and dry, and they want her to make some first hand observations of these wrestling matches. (Hasn’t the committee heard – theses are supposed to be stiff and dry.) Well before you can say Ghengis Khan, Veronica and Cy are doing the deed (several times in succession) which makes his Mongolian coach unhappy since Cy is supposed to be competing in the naadam (national games) and you know what they say about sex and athletes. A further complication ensues when it turns out that the Dutch mercenary is a friend of Veronica’s.
Will Cy give up his promiscuous ways? Will he tell Veronica his deadly family secret? Will Veronica ever write her thesis?
Not that I cared a bit. I didn’t like Cy at all and since the book is told from his point of view, the more I read, the more I disliked him. I was vastly uncomfortable at the whole assassination-for-hire idea. Yes, I know the guys he killed were scum but I still didn’t like it, and yes, I know Linda Howard made one of her heroes an assassin, but she treated him seriously. Cy isn’t a bit serious. As for Veronica – I thought she was a cypher pure and simple. I really can’t say a lot about her since I never saw her in my mind’s eye as I read the book.
When I read the blurb on the back, I was prepared to laugh at I Shot You Babe, but in the end, I didn’t laugh once. I smiled a time or two at the quotations at the beginning of each chapter and I did like the title, but that’s it. This book was a washout for me.