The city has a new breed of heroine. One who has seen its dark underbelly, felt its putrid breath upon her neck and heard the cries of innocence lost. One who has decided enough is enough, even if the cause of this crusade starts from a personal situation and leads to stranger ramifications.
Sloane Stone finds her sister, Naomi, brutally beaten to pulp and barely breathing. With Naomi on the way to hospital, Sloane is interviewed by two detectives, one of which is Ted Daniels. It seems that through their reality flawed conversation, Daniels becomes more than a little infatuated with Miss Stone, unaware of the true happenings of part of the case. It is these unspoken acts by Miss Stone that leads her down a very obvious track.
Sarah Bitely has crafted a decently written story containing a number of different voices. The cast is headed by Sloane but the other main characters get some time in the spotlight, from the earnest detective to the clichéd runaway story that accompanies a car journey. Like that journey, the story hits a couple of bumps with parts being over written. Reading this book, it quite clear to see that Sin City plays its influential part, with sex, violence and “tarts with hearts”.
The art is by Alfonso Ruiz, who produces some good work. The line work is strong and angular for the most part, but it does have a softer side. The action pieces are well paced with a variety of panel structures used. With the book being about the killing of a pimp (don’t cry spoiler here, the clue is in the title!), there is quite a bit of nakedness, sex and violence. In comparison to other books, some may feel that it’s too graphic, so please bear that in mind before picking up the book.
This type of story could potentially been seen as a sexploitation book, with women being used as victims in both current and past exploits of the character in the book. The result of Sloane’s actions may cause friction from the protectiveness of Detective Daniels which allows the reader to see how some men see women; the fact that women always need protecting. However, Sloane is a capable character, whilst not ignoring her past, she has allowed it to shape her and given her strength to complete her chosen task. Crime noir books seem to be becoming more and more popular, from a variety of publishers. As such, Bitely and Ruiz may find the genre harder to crack than Sloane cracks heads.