“Book Review: Duckett & Dyer: Dicks for Hire”
Reviewed by Steph Huddleston
A laugh-filled romp through time and space with two out-of-their-depth best friends
The opening lines of G.M Nair’s Duckett & Dyer: Dicks for Hire grabs hold of the reader, and the rest of the story won’t let go:
“’Listen, it’s not the worst idea I’ve ever had. And it certainly won’t be the last,’ Stephanie Dyer said, just moments away from her death.”
Michael Duckett is the worn-out best friend of Stephanie Dyer. He’s always picking up after her, and he’s tired of being the only responsible adult in their friendship. When her latest scheme has them going along with a detective agency someone has begun advertising for them, it seems she’s pushed the friendship a little too far.
But when the girl of Michael’s dreams (or at least the girl he thinks could possibly maybe like him back) disappears mysteriously, the duo of Duckett and Dyer find themselves investigating a string of missing persons cases. To top it off, a strange masked figure keeps leaving a trail of sassy post-it notes that is driving the real detective who is investigating the disappearances crazy. Will Duckett and Dyer figure out what is going on?
Duckett and Dyer: Dicks for Hire follows along with the high speed, bizarre, and entertaining antics of Michael Duckett and Stephanie Dyer. Duckett is the highly-strung voice of reason to Dyer’s vibrant and oftentimes ridiculous antics. The pair have to navigate both the strange and dangerous as they unravel a mystery involving themselves and the very fabric of the universe. Both characters are utterly charming in their own way.
The antics and mannerisms of Stephanie Dyer can at times be annoying, but to feel so is a mark of this novel’s quality writing. Michael Duckett’s voice is so strong and vivid that his emotions and attitudes become the reader’s feelings too. His feelings of annoyance become my annoyance, his rationalism feeling logical and right.
Dyer, in contrast, is vivid and an enigma both to the reader and Duckett. Her character is the primary driver of the plot, and so has many of the best lines and actions within the book. Though at times difficult to understand, she is ever charming and entertaining. The dialogue and rapport between Duckett and Dyer is pointed and funny. The contrasting personalities of each character make for a truly great reading experience.
Beyond the surface, this story shares the important tale of what can happen when childhood friends grow up. The transition from teen to adult can be a bumpy one, fraught with stress and anxiety. With so many changes, it’s the friends and family we turn to who can make or break us. Duckett and Dyer Dicks for Hire holds important lessons about understanding those around us—and that sometimes, those we spend the most time with can hold the biggest mysteries.
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