Plugged is a great start to Eoin Colfer’s adult criminal career. As a longstanding fan of Artemis Fowl and Co, I have to admit to preferring the child criminal, simply because there is a deep satisfaction to be gained from crime novels that are just perfect without all the swearing and violence you get in adult writing. I firmly believe the skill is far greater.
But, Plugged is an excellent example of hardboiled crime where the hero can be permitted to be both kind and funny, while still being a hard guy. Daniel McEvoy is a former Irish soldier, who makes a living chucking people out of a sleazy club in America. Despite a troubled past he is a much sweeter person than you’d think. A bit vain, perhaps, but then who isn’t?
His sort of girlfriend at the club ends up murdered on the same day that Daniel ‘just happens’ to kill a man. He needs to avoid getting caught, while trying to find the girl’s killer. He keeps hearing a crazy friend’s voice in his head and he also has a more than insane neighbour, whose casserole I have to admit I had greater hopes for at the end than what actually transpired.
It’s a bit of a shock finding the seemingly sweet-natured Eoin taking so well to violence and bad language, when the strength of his fiction for younger readers is that he can do perfectly well without them. But in actual fact, Plugged is plotted in the same devious way, with all the unrelated details tying up beautifully in the end.
Some I could see coming, but Eoin turned things around a lot at the end, and it’s a humorous and different kind of ending to what could have been a cold and violent story, but isn’t.
And if I could understand poker, I daresay some aspects would have made much more sense.
Maybe I shouldn’t say this, but in a way I hope this was just a test as far as Eoin’s writing is concerned. I liked Plugged a lot. But I feel strongly that he should use his considerable skills writing for a younger audience. Not all authors can.