Release Date: February 1, 2011
Publisher: Little Brown Books
Genre: YA Mystery/Crime, Fiction, Pulp Noir
The Story: (from http://www.youkilledwesleypayne.com/)
He’s come to do a job.
A job that involves a body.
A body wrapped in duct tape found hanging from the goal posts at the end of the football field.
You Killed Wesley Payne is a truly original and darkly hilarious update of classic pulp-noir, in which hard-boiled seventeen year old Dalton Rev transfers to the mean hallways of Salt River High to take on the toughest case of his life. The question isn’t whether Dalton’s going to get paid. He always gets paid. Or whether he’s gonna get the girl. He always (sometimes) gets the girl. The real question is whether Dalton Rev can outwit crooked cops and killer cliques in time to solve the mystery of “The Body” before it solves him.
Sean Beaudoin (Going Nowhere Faster, Fade to Blue) evokes the distinctive voices of legendary crime/noir authors Dashiell Hammett and Jim Thompson with a little bit of Mean Girls and Heathers throw in in for good measure. It’ll tease you, please you, and never ever leave you. Actually, that’s not true. It’s only a book. One that’s going to suck you in, spit you out, and make you shake hands with the devil. Probably.
My Review: What to say about You Killed Wesley Payne? Much about this book was over the top. Usually this would annoy the daylights out of me, yet in this book it... worked. This book was like Grease meets Who Framed Roger Rabbit? an odd combination to be sure.
I don't want to get into the plot too much, it would be easy to slip and include spoilers. So, I'm keeping this simple. I, for one, found myself laughing nearly the entire way through the book. You Killed Wesley Payne has a dark, edgy humor that will set your teeth on edge if you don't like that sort of thing and maybe even if you do. Those of you who have followed BCM for a while know that I am a really odd person, so you should not be surprised at my rating below.
Now, here I should go into the deeper issues of how deeply disturbed the characters are. Maybe something about the problems of cliques, etc. I should probably consult a psychologist. In fact, I should have recommended to the author, Sean Beaudoin, that he seek immediate professional help. Instead, I interviewed him (a much better and more productive use of my time). Check back tomorrow to see what he has to say.