He's come to do a job.
A job that involves a body.
A body wrapped in duct tape found hanging from the goal posts at the end of the football field.
You Killed Wesley Payne is a truly original and darkly hilarious update of classic pulp-noir, in which hard-boiled seventeen year-old Dalton Rev transfers to the mean hallways of Salt River High to take on the toughest case of his life. The question isn't whether Dalton's going to get paid. He always gets paid. Or whether he's gonna get the girl. He always (sometimes) gets the girl. The real question is whether Dalton Rev can outwit crooked cops and killer cliques in time to solve the mystery of "The Body" before it solves him.
Sean Beaudoin (Going Nowhere Faster, Fade to Blue) evokes the distinctive voices of legendary crime/noir authors Dashiell Hammett and Jim Thompson with a little bit of Mean Girls and Heathers throwin in for good measure. This smart, slick, and alluring detective novel that will tease you, thrill you, and suck you in.This is a humor, mystery, YA, and a bit of film noir thrown in for good measure. I will admit that when I first started reading the book the language took me a minute to get used to hearing in my head. It is a mixture of the film noir type of heavy language with a bit of made up YA slang. However, once you get past the heavy language, the mystery unfolds. It is a fun mystery even though it involves the death of someone so young. You don't get too involved with Wesley Payne until the end so you can see him as Dalton sees him, more independent from emotion so it becomes about the case.
The case unfolds slowly building up to a pinacle where not many things fall into place. Suddenly, you start learning more about Dalton and how he solves his cases. With those clues more parts fall into place and by the ends twists and turns you are left with one fun YA mystery. I won't tell you more than that because reading this book and finding those twists are part of the fun.
I give this book 3 1/2 stars. It isn't for everyone and I can see that some people might have trouble with the heavy language, but if you can get used to it, you can see the humor within and a glimpse at the author's humorous homage to film noir.