Are Snakes Necessary? by Brian De Palma and Susan Lehman is a thriller novel filled with quirky characters but forgot the thrills. This book spends too much time establishing the characters, when they finally meet stuff starts to finally happen, but too little too late. I love Brian De Palma and his films, Scarface, Carrie, Carlito’s Way, Blow Out, Sisters, The Phantom of Paradise, Dressed to Kill, and The Untouchables, that list can go on and on. He can tell a good story on the screen, and I think I would have appreciated this story a lot more on screen it oozes in sex, lies, and seduction, but on the page it is just too slow. The character are interesting but I really don’t care about them. The story follows about 8-9 characters at at the end connects them, the climax works but the lead up is very slow. This is my third book I read in the Hard Case Crime Series, I hated The Colorado Kid but enjoyed Joyland both by Stephen King. Are Snakes Necessary? falls in the middle as a missed opportunity. Martin Scorsese wrote a blurb review on the cover that reads, “It’s like having a new Brian De Palma picture.” which had me intrigued to read this book. Are Snakes Necessary? was published on March 17 2020
The Plot: Is Lee Rodgers is a scandalous man at first he was governor and now he is running for Senate, and he can just not keep it out of his pants. His Chief of staff Brock learned of his indiscretions and tried to exploit Rodgers, but he turned the tables, but hired Brock because of the way he thought. Brock’s first job is making the woman he tried to blackmail Rodgers go away, and creating an enemy in Elizabeth. Brock’s new task his keeping the new affair down, but when the woman decides to hideout and appears missing messes all that up, Brock needs to eliminate the woman before she can be a liability.
What I Liked: The character’s are fun and there some moments of great dialogue. The climax works well with some of the characters evolving. There is one twist that got to me and it was such a Brian De Palma twist. The sex scenes are plenty and written like a De Palma directed scene.
What I Disliked: The story gave thoughts from too many minor characters and was a bit distracting. The plot moved slow and it take too long for the characters to start connecting, I wondered if I was ever going to get the pay off from the set up. The Elizabeth character I had a hard time believing she would be discovered in a Mc. Donald’s and then get a Dear Abby like column, Dear Dottie, Sitting next to some one on a bus that wants to give it up the column and talks to her for ten minutes while declaring she is the one, felt laughable.
Recommendations: Being a really big fan of De Palma’s work I found moments hat I personally enjoyed, but there wasn’t enough for be to recommend. Do your self a favor and check out one of this man’s films they’re incredible, but pass on this book, which kills me to say. I rated Are Snakes Necessary by Brian De Palma and Susan Lehman 2 out of 5 stars. I’m a big enough fan to give him one more chance but I won’t rush out to buy it like I did this one.