Paperback: 388 pages
Publisher: All Due Respect (December 4, 2015)
While cooling her heels in Federal Prison, Selena finds herself an unwilling pawn in a deadly game played by powers beyond her understanding. Her enemies aren’t finished hurting her. Selena is completely under their control and subjected to the most cruel form of punishment known to the Federal Prison System. But when presented with an unexpected opportunity to right old wrongs, Selena chooses her own way—and to hell with the powers that be. As her course twists and turns, Selena takes on the unlikeliest ally of all. She enlists hell’s own soldier as she commands her reckoning against her true enemies. Diesel Therapy is the second book in the Selena series.
Yesterday I talked about SELENA, the first book in this series. That book kicked my ass. It was so gritty and so real, so incredibly well written and captivating that I couldn’t wait to
read more about the delightfully fucked up protagonist. But it also left me with a great big question mark in my mind. Could Greg Barth do it again? So often with a series of books the first one is fantastic and the rest turn out to be just so-so ripoffs of the original. As it turns out, that is not the case with DIESEL THERAPY. If anything, it’s even better than the first.
In DIESEL THERAPY, Barth manages to keep up the break-neck, heart-pounding pace that he established in SELENA while simultaneously getting deeper, adding layers of complexity to Selena that were kind of sensed but not seen in that first book. It takes a more introspective and brutally honest look at her past and at the twisted, fucked up events that helped to create this tough as nails, petite little killer. It also reveals a level of empathy and compassion in Selena that was absent, or at least not as evident in the first book.
In SELENA, Greg Barth proved himself to be a master of character development and meaningful, cutting dialogue and he continues to prove it in this remarkable second installment to the series. Every single snippet of speech, every word of description serves to develop character and to move the story forward, and it sometimes feels like anywhere that there isn’t dialogue there’s action. I found myself once again trapped behind Selena’s eyes, experiencing her pain and her rage deep into the early hours of the morning, unable and unwilling to disconnect myself from the story. Barth has an incredible knack for engaging his readers and making them feel like they were in the scene.
In DIESEL THERAPY, Greg Barth displays a genius with words and a love of language that is, to my way of thinking, a crucial trait that all great writers possess. And I’m not using the word “great” lightly or hyperbolically. Barth is truly a great writer and one that all lovers of hardcore pulp-noir should be following. This exceptionally talented author blows my mind with his skill and his obvious delight and wanton abandon when it comes to writing brutal, horrifically violent, bloody fiction.
If you haven’t read Greg Barth, go get SELENA and eat that sucker up. As soon as you do you’ll be on your way back to get DIESEL THERAPY. And I promise you, you’ll devour it like a starving man with a rib-eye. Also, in the next couple weeks, watch for my conversation with Greg and my review of the third book in the series, SUICIDE LOUNGE–which releases on April 1st. With the first two books he didn’t just think outside the box, he planted a bomb and blew the fucking thing to pieces. Can he do it a third time?