A breezy, fast read without a single "50 cent word" in the book. I would almost say this is a hard boiled noir, certainly Colfer amasses a respectable body count, but despite Colfer's best efforts he is a nice guy and he had a hard time really convincing me that anything truly horrible was ever going to happen.
For me the strength in the book was in the characterizations. Daniel McEvoy is likable and certainly capable. He does get himself out of some seemingly impossible ways with a combination of brute strength, ingenuity, and luck. Zeb Kronski/Ghost Zeb is one of those guys that is always living on the edges of society providing those services for people looking for assistance at a discount that may or may not be exactly legal. One of those guys you want to know, but never want to acknowledge you know. Detective Deacon, is an over the top police detective of Amazon proportions and mind. She is the other half of the equation in the one true sexual situation in the book though Colfer steps aside from actually describing anything but the sketchiest details about the event. He does bashfully apologize afterwards for not giving us more titillation. Sofia Delano may be the most interesting sub-character. She lives upstairs from Daniel and entertains herself by yelling rude comments through the floor to McEvoy. He ends up endearing himself to her by fixing her window and suddenly he is manifested in her mind as her husband Carmine. He finds himself strangely attracted to her. Aren't we all from time to time attracted to crazy women? Though he does engage in a bit of heavy petting with Mrs. Delano, McEvoy avoids actually taking advantage of her. Another point were Colfer goes up to the line, but doesn't really score the points for a hard boiled novel.
I guess my conclusion is that this is really a soft boiled novel masquerading as a hard boiled novel. Yes there is some language, mostly in an Irish accent, so more endearing than truly unseemly. The body count climbs as the book progresses, but comes no where near Red Harvest. There is graphic violence, but not described in gruesome detail. There is cleverness, some humor, and some deftly placed twists to the plot. I vacillated between three and four stars and decided to give the push to four because ultimately I had a good time reading it.