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Review: Suicide Lounge, by Greg Barth

Selena is the most ass-kicking, badass heroine that has ever graced the pages of noir fiction. Her story has been documented by Greg Barth in this trilogy. From the original Selena to Diesel Therapy and now Suicide Lounge, Barth has taken her through great plots adding layer upon layer to Selena as a character, enough great dialogue to make your head spin, along with tons of sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll (OK not so much rock-n-roll). Selena has morphed from a woman who steals a CD and gets caught up in a world beyond her wildest dreams, into a take no prisoners, toughest person in the room regardless of gender, drug-fueled maniac who possesses, strangely enough, a strong moral compass that drives her.

Greg Barth has created a character that has enough life in her to fill countless more books and I sure hope more Selena novels are in his plans. I cannot say enough about Barth’s ability to create a world in which you will lose yourself and find yourself cheering for a character you really have no business rooting for. That’s the screwy part…in noir we shouldn’t have a rooting interest. Selena isn’t a “good guy”, yet Barth makes you love her, care for her, and you become invested in her well being and you ignore the “evil” she does, because you get it, you understand her, you empathize with her, and in many ways, you invest yourself in her and give two-shits about what happens to her. That is the power in Barth’s writing.

As far as I am concerned, no synopsis is needed for this book. The beauty of this book is that Greg Barth is taking control of your heart, mind, and soul for a bit and you are going love the ride. Too quote an old movie I like: “You’re going for a ride. You’re going down a hole. And even if you come out alive, you’ll wish you were dead”. Well, you won’t wish you were dead, but you will wish for more Selena. This is top-notch noir that is brutal and unforgiving.  In other words, this is some heavy hitting noir you must grab to believe.

Highly, Highly Recommended.

Reviewed by Derrick Horodyski.