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The Bookworm Sez: Action, some of it explicit, in latest novel

Posted: May 21, 2014 - 4:01pm

You need to change things up.

A new sense of style is called-for, a new job, new digs, maybe a new outlook on everything. Out with the old, in with the new, different, exciting.

Your old life isn’t working for you these days and that goes doubly for Debbie Dare. In the new book “Debbie Doesn’t Do It Anymore” by Walter Mosley (c.2014, Doubleday, $25.95, 266 pages), it’ll be time for a change — if she survives.

The day that Debbie Dare learned of her husband’s death had started out like any other: she went to work, naked, on her back, and wished her co-star would hurry up as she feigned passion for yet another porn film.

But there was no faking her surprise when she arrived home at the end of the day and found the front yard filled with cops. The housekeeper had found Debbie’s husband, Theon, dead. He’d accidentally electrocuted himself in the bathtub — along with a naked teenager who was apparently auditioning for Theon’s films.

Debbie supposed she loved Theon. He didn’t beat her. They were as compatible as was possible, but he spent too much money — a fact that was underscored when a loan shark showed up at the door, hours after Theon’s death, and demanded that Debbie pay up on the money Theon borrowed.

It was the last straw.

Once upon a time, Debbie Dare was known as Sandra Peel. She was her parents’ only daughter, the middle child of three, and she was wild. At fifteen, she was working on her knees in a parking lot, which was where she met the much-older Theon and her life changed. It was about to change again because, though Theon had left her broke and she was about to be homeless, Debbie was done with porn.

Or was she? When the loan shark sold his debt to an L.A. mobster, Debbie was given an ultimatum: pay up or act again, a choice that she wasn’t going to make. She suddenly saw the porn industry for what it was. The only passion she had was for a “handsome man” named Suicide, “all silence and smiles” and urges to die...

You know those old black-&-white war movies, where soldiers try to outrun exploding artillery shells? This book is something like that: it’s run-run-BOOM, run-run-BOOM all the way to the end of “Debbie Doesn’t Do It Anymore.”

And that’s quite a surprise: Debbie Dare is no Easy Rawlins, and she’s not Socrates — two things that every fan of author Walter Mosley will want to know. There are hints of both of Mosley’s most famous characters, but this book is much more explicit than his past few novels. That’s not a bad thing, once you get into the heart of this most excellent story but it definitely bears mentioning — especially if profanity isn’t your cup of tea.

If you don’t mind X-rated scenes, though, and you need your Mosley fix, then this is the book you need to find. For you, “Debbie Doesn’t Do It Anymore” will surely be a big change.

The Bookworm is Terri Schlichenmeyer. Email her at bookwormsez@yahoo.com.

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