Cube Sleuth by author Dave Terruso
Thank you so much to author Dave Terruso for sending me a copy of Cube Sleuth, not even in exchange for this review but just because he knew I’d love it. Spoiler, he was right.
Cube Sleuth is about office drone Bobby Pinker. He’s about to hit his five year anniversary at the job he never wanted and is reeling from a breakup with a woman way out of his league, and it was all his fault.
He’s feeling pretty low about various aspects of his life but at least he has his best friend Ron. They’re getting a sketch comedy show put together and things are looking pretty good. Ron is finally about to go on a first date with the love of his life and Bobby can at least be happy for him.
This is why it’s so suspicious when one day Ron kills himself in his car after work. Bobby knows without a doubt that this wasn’t suicide. There’s just no way, so he sets out to find the real killer even though no one else believes him.
Bobby has no experience being a detective but he does have a lot of motivation to occupy his mind with anything other than the horrible string of events in his life up until now. He channels all his anger, depression, shame, and sorrow into solving this mystery and avenging his best friend.
What Cube Sleuth does best is character development. Bobby Pinker is a raw, personal, real human that many of us might find uncomfortably relatable. Personally, I found a lot of this book uncomfortably relatable. It dug up some of the worst parts of my past and who I am or used to be and shoved them right in my face.
But it’s also really really laugh out loud funny! Before I had a dramatic resurfacing of past traumas I was laughing so hard I had to set the book down for a moment. This dramatic shifting of emotions is present throughout the whole novel. It mimicks so much of real life and how we never feel just one thing at a time.
Cube Sleuth also deals with some of the finer points of human relationships. Many stories like to focus on pure positives like true love and romance or pure negatives like abuse. Author Terruso explores far more complicated nuances than these.
Grief is a powerful force throughout the story and a lot of actions are driven by that desperate state of mind. Relationships built on grief are tragic but are sometimes unavoidable. They may even become a necessary part of the healing process. This combination of sadness, hopelessness, and self destructive misguided horniness is an unfortunately true outlet for many people but I rarely see it represented in literature.
There’s a personal honesty present throughout Terruso’s entire body of work. His books stand out from the rest by bravely facing all of the worst parts of life, putting them on display, and then somehow finding the smallest part of it all that can make us laugh.
In addition to being a deeply personal exploration of the human condition, Cube Sleuth is a well crafted mystery. There are many clues to gather along the way as well as hidden easter eggs that you may never pick up on without some help. It’s the kind of book that screams for dissection in a creative writing class.
Most importantly though is the ending. Without spoiling what happens I’ll just say that it’s the most “holy shit!!” ending I’ve read in years. It’s surprising but it’s not a stretch. It also combines the overall themes of tragic comedy in a way that can only be described as perfection.
It’s no wonder that Terruso has quickly become one of my all time favorite authors and I will continue to read everything he publishes the second it comes out. Cube Slueth is the kind of mystery that makes you want to go back and lower the ratings of every other mystery you’ve ever read. Or at least that’s how it felt for me.
Please please please read this book and literally anything else that Terruso has written. You will not be disappointed.
5/5 office workers 👨💼👨💼👨💼👨💼👨💼
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