A Man Named Doll – Jonathan Ames | A Book Review

A Man Named Doll - Jonathan Ames

Title: A Man Named Doll

Author: Jonathan Ames

Genre: Mystery

About the book: It follows Happy Doll who is a private detective by day and a security guard at night for a local Thai spa. When Lou Shelton, an old friend appears at Doll’s doorstep with a bullet in him, he tries to figure out what happened to Lou.

I received a reader copy from Hachette Book Group in exchange for an honest review.

First impressions: I’ve never read anything by Ames before, but the premise drew me in. The book is short at a little over 200 pages, so I anticipated it being a fast-paced read. I enjoyed how the author sets up the beginning of the story.

Characters: The novel lives up to its title in that it revolves around a character named Doll. I liked learning more about him, especially his past and seeing how past events shaped who he is today. Due to the short length of the book, there isn’t much space to explore other secondary characters in much depth.


“He’d seen the worst in people and thought the worst of people.”

Writing: It’s broken up into 3 parts with short chapters. The story is told in first person point of view from Doll’s perspective, and he has a quirky sense of humour. I haven’t read a lot of noir books, so the different style made for an interesting reading experience. There are some graphic scenes and mature language.

Final thoughts: I had no idea how it would end, but it felt like everything was wrapped up almost too quickly and easily. If you want a quick read featuring a unique character who makes questionable choices, consider checking out A Man Named Doll.

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