Bart Hopkins, Jr. is a native Texan and a terrific artist with words. Beach Town Boogie is his sixth novel, and like much of his earlier work it is set in Hopkins’ home state. Hopkins writes with sparse, authentic prose that pulls you into the story.
Cass Destry is the protagonist in Beach Town Boogie. Cass is a gun carrying black belt private investigator with a fast sports car and a penchant for running long distances, fast. She’s recently divorced and this week her fast running saved her life … but the week isn’t over yet, and in fact it’s about to get even worse.
Hopkins does a terrific job of piling it on early in the book. It’s humorous at times but definitely ratchets up the tension as the challenges confronting Cass continue to mount. Are they all somehow related? Or is her luck just really that bad?
Cass tells a friend she’s doing the Beach Town Boogie trying to juggle everything and stay focused and aware as a stalker and potential murderer closes in on her.
This is a fast, run read from beginning to end. But don’t think the humor is slapstick and the detective story is cliché—no, not even close. Bart Hopkins Jr. is a talented author who writes intelligent prose that discerning readers will appreciate.
Hopkins understands language and uses it beautifully to create a world on Galveston Island that’s pretty darn close to that magical word “literary”—and I don’t say it lightly. This is a smart book with characters that overcome flaws and face challenges and develop and grow to combat dire situations.
It’s artfully constructed, beautifully written, and highly entertaining.
Highly recommended: 5 / 5 stars.