Pest Control by Bill Fitzhugh was originally published in 1996. My paperback copy is 306 pages. This is a funny story about an exterminator who is mistaken for an assassin. Fitzhugh doesn't take himself or his story too seriously, so relax and laugh along as you follow the over-the-top action. It's an easy, humorous read that begs to be read in a light hearted manner rather than as a serious action novel. For all it's flaws, I'll have to admit that I enjoyed Pest Control and laughed out loud several times. I'm rating this a 4 because it was embarrassingly fun to read. Warning: do not read if you are squeamish about bugs and lots of facts about bugs.
Synopsis from cover:
Bob Dillon can't get a break. A down-on-his-luck exterminator, all he wants is his own truck with a big fiberglass bug on top - and success with his radical new, environmentally friendly pest-killing technique. So Bob decides to advertise.
Unfortunately, one of his flyers falls into the wrong hands. Marcel, a shady Frenchman, needs an assassin to handle a million-dollar hit, and he figures that Bob Dillon is his man. Through no fault - or participation - of his own, this unwitting pest controller from Queens has become a major player in the dangerous world of contract murder.And now Bob's running for his life through the wormiest sections of the Big Apple - one step ahead of a Bolivian executioner, a homicidal transvestite dwarf, meatheaded CIA agents, cabbies packing serious heat ... and the world's number-one hit man, who might just turn out to be the best friend Bob's got.
"His eyes were metallic blue jewel beetles peering out from underneath a pair of furry black caterpillars." first sentence.
"Bob Dillion, Brooklyn exterminator, had invented an all-natural pest control method that wouldn't poison the environment like conventional methods." pg. 3
"An uninformed observer might have asked why these people were lined up four deep to cheer for this corrupt madman. The answer was simple. They were there because although they despised this tyrant, by god, he was their tyrant and he was the only living thing they could call their own.
That, plus they were giving away free falafel." pg. 12
"She was wearing a conservative, navy blue business suit, attempting, as many women did in the 1980's, to look more manly." pg. 15
" 'Hey! The hell you got against chlorinated hydrocarbons?' Johnny pointed at the twitch around his right eye. 'You making fun of this?'
'Uh, course not!' Bob said. 'It's hardly noticeable.'
'Yeah, well I'll tell you a thing or two buddy. This twitch put two kids through public school!' Johnny said. 'And it'd put through two more if I could still have kids.' " pg. 51
" 'I will have his liver cut out, wrapped in bacon, and served to my soldiers!'
The men looked uneasily at each other. Non of them really cared for liver." pg. 170
"Ch'ing was on their butts like a big nasty pimple." pg 249
"They saw a small shadowy figure moving irregularly in the distance.
Bob turned to Klaus. 'The Dwarf?' pg. 269