It is billed as a ‘hardboiled crime novel’, but I don’t know. I looked up “hardboiled” to make sure I understood the term correctly. Wiki tells me that hardboiled has a
detective who displays a cynical attitude towards emotions. The attitude is conveyed through the detective’s inner monologue describing to the reader (or, in film, to the viewer) what he is doing and feeling. The genre’s typical protagonist is a detective, who daily witnesses the violence of organized crime that flourished during Prohibition, while dealing with a legal system that had become as corrupt as the organized crime itself. Rendered cynical by this cycle of violence, the detectives of hardboiled fiction are classic antiheroes.
Set in New Orleans, I guess Tubby has seen his share of violence and corruption, but antihero? Again, a trudge to Wiki gives me this:
A protagonist who lacks conventional heroic qualities such as idealism, courage, and morality. These individuals often possess dark personality traits such as disagreeableness, dishonesty, and aggressiveness. These characters are usually considered “conspicuously contrary to an archetypal hero”.
OK, I will go for that. But I must say that Tubby is quite likable and boy is he tenacious.
Crime Czar is the fifth in the series. In the previous book, (which I have not read), his friend and partner was shot in a situation involving a major robbery. He lingers for several months before dying. Tubby is obsessed with revenge for that murder, and gets it into his head that all of the crime in the city is under the auspices of one big Crime Czar, and set off to prove it. Along the way, he gets roped into being a co-chairman of the reelection committee of a judge, comes up against a truly corrupt and vicious Sheriff (or is it police chief? I forget), and keeps getting hindered by a prostitute out for revenge for the death of one of her customers-turned-boyfriend.
All in all, a good read, and I loved the ending.
His friend says, “No more talk about the crime czar?”
“It’s a committee. How can you fight a committee? A group of nameless individuals not one of whom has the guts to be the baddest guy in town? They’re not worth my time.”