Monday, January 28, 2013

#BookReview: The Man in 3B - Carl Weber

I'm not really sure when Carl Weber started to dislike women.  To be honest, I can't say for sure that he doesn't like them, but his portrayal of them in his latest is less than complimentary.  If I'm being fair, the men don't seem to do much better.  Quite frankly, there's not really one likable character in The Man in 3B.

When Daryl Graham moves into the building, the women (married, single and otherwise engaged) are quick to take notice.  While the women swoon over him, the men admire him.  It comes as a surprise then when he's found murdered.  What isn't a surprise is that the police suspect several of the residents of committing the crime.

The slightly overweight Connie has just been dumped by her furniture salesman husband.  So when Daryl starts to pay her attention and offers to help her with an exercise plan, she's more than willing to let him.  For Benny the electronics genius, Daryl is the older brother he never had.  While his fireman father is busy sleeping with the women of the building, Benny is taking his first forays into adulthood with Daryl as his guide.  Daryl is the one man Krystal never got over.  Even though she's engaged to Slim, she can't get Daryl out of her mind and when he happens to move into her building, she doesn't want to let him out of her bed.

As charming as he sounds, it's hard to imagine that everyone has a reason for wanting to see the mysterious Daryl Graham dead.  They do and now it's up to the police to sort out who killed him and why.

Though Weber's writing kept me interested enough to continue reading the book, I was taken aback by quite a few of his characters comments about women.  For example, when Ben first meets Daryl he offers him advice about the women in the building, saying:

"Take my advice when it comes to the women in this building.  Hit it and quit and don't get too attached 'cause all of em ain't nothing but a bunch of gold diggers and whores."

The usually respectful character of Bennie also speaks ill of women,

"Those damn cackling, conniving, low-life wenches on the stoop were half the reason I hadn't been out of my apartment..."

The blatant and unnecessary disrespect of women isn't limited to men though.  Even Krystal gets in on it, referring to other women as whores and belittling her stepmother, Connie, unmercifully.  As I said, the repeated verbal attacks on women made this book difficult to stomach. Some of the story lines were too unbelievable and it seemed quite convenient that some of the characters just happened to live in the same building.  While I usually like Weber's writing, and I know others will disagree, this one was just too far reaching for me and seems to be his worst work to date.

Published: January 2013
Disclosure: Copy of book received from publisher, opinions are my own.

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