I bought Bad Monkeys because of the cover.
Okay, I had it on my wish list already, even before I saw it at the store, but really, the cover made my decision for me. I mean, look at it - it's pretty cool.
(For some reason, my exact paperback is not coming up in any image search, which is strange, but it looks like this is the one you can find now.)
Also, google gave me this gem...
Anyway, the Bad Monkeys cover is kick ass, and just like studies have found that women buy more wine bottles with animals on the label (of which I am also guilty), I buy books with sweet covers.
But seriously, what a fun book!
Jane Charlotte is in jail. She was arrested for a murder that she committed and admitted as much. So why is she in the psych ward?
A very patient psychiatrist sits with her, day after day, to get to the bottom of her story. She claims to be a member of a secret crime-fighting organization - I'm sorry, an evil-fighting organization - called the Bad Monkeys. Meaning, she and other chosen few rid the world of exceptionally evil people. People that, alive, have been determined to be more of a harm to society than if they were dead.
The story is clever while never letting the ridiculousness of the plot waver. It is strong and proud in its ridiculousness! For example, Bad Monkey operatives kill using special guns that don't fire bullets. The MI-gun gives the victim a myocardial infarction, while the NC-gun kills the victim with natural causes. In fact, while the plot is completely out there, the novel takes a bit of a 1984 turn and causes the reader to wonder if organizations like this could exist.
I love Ruff's writing style. It's dry and funny, but also intelligent and insightful. Jane is a snarky, troubled, complete bitch of a character, and yet you just can't help but like her.
As the therapist tries to pull information from her, bit by painful bit, we learn more about Jane's past: her childhood, her drug-filled existence, and the organization that has given her life meaning.
The reader cares about Jane and wants her to succeed - every twist of the plot is juicy and entertaining, and the finale is worth the short read (227 pages). The revealing conclusion actually got a ecstatic "HA!" out of me. Bad Monkeys is a quick, enjoyable, unpredictable read.