Brian De Palma and Susan Lehman – Are Snakes Necessary? Review

Genre: Crime Thriller
Length: 224 Pages
Publisher: Hard Case Crime
Release date: March 17, 2020

When the beautiful young videographer offered to join his campaign, Senator Lee Rogers should’ve known better. But saying no would have taken a stronger man than Rogers, with his ailing wife and his robust libido. Enter Barton Brock, the senator’s fixer. He’s already gotten rid of one troublesome young woman — how hard could this new one turn out to be?

Pursued from Washington D.C. to the streets of Paris, 18-year-old Fanny Cours knows her reputation and budding career are on the line. But what she doesn’t realize is that her life might be as well…

Review copy provided in exchange for an honest review

Well, when I hear the name Brian De Palma my brain screams ‘Carrie’ or ‘Scarface’. Carrie, of course, because I’m a constant reader, and really who isn’t. I don’t think of Brian De Palma as a writer, and until I was sent a copy of Are Snakes Necessary?, I didn’t know he had written book one. The writing was done well with De Palma and Lehman. Their collaboration gave the story one voice and I couldn’t tell who wrote which portions. As smooth as the collaboration was, at times the story felt more like a script that wanted to be a movie than a book. That aside, I really liked the multiple stories and well developed characters.

Are Snakes Necessary? is a political thriller/murder mystery. I don’t normally dive into anything political. But, I do love a good mystery, so I gave this book a read. It had some surprises and double crosses that held my interest, I always dig a twist I don’t see coming. And, a well done back stabbing/double crosses always hits the mark for me. But, it had some predictable moments that felt like they were thrown in to get a character from point a to b. The kind of action that doesn’t feel like natural or real. I can always do with less of that. In the end, Are Snakes Necessary? was an enjoyable read and a fun step outside of my usual genre.

Link to purchase Are Snakes Necessary

About the Authors-

BRIAN DE PALMA is the world-famous director of more than thirty films, including Carrie, Scarface, The Untouchables, Dressed to Kill, Body Double, Blow Out, and the original Mission: Impossible. The subject of the 2015 documentary De Palma, he is considered one of the most accomplished filmmakers of the last fifty years, a peer to directors such as Steven Spielberg, Francis Ford Coppola, and Martin Scorsese and an inspiration to next-generation directors such as Quentin Tarantino.

SUSAN LEHMAN is a former editor of the New York Times and author whose writing has appeared in the Washington Post, The Atlantic Monthly, Vogue, The New Yorker, and Spy magazine. An attorney by training, she also served as communications director at the Brennan Center for Justice.


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