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I liked BADDEST more than the first two in the series. I could argue my reasons but I will not bother.

D.A. Trappert

His review is a reasonable point of view and it provides justification for why he didn't like the book, although I don't quite agree with it myself. (I also have to keep myself from hearing it read in Gru's voice from Despicable Me.)

I was a little more complimentary in my LibraryThing (the world's greatest website) review:

Smith has a knack for writing action novels that few possess. But it isn't all just action; he creates characters you can't forget. Billy Lafitte is as flawed as they come--but some of those trying to do him in are even worse. After the first two books in the series, it was hard to see how Smith could equal himself, but thanks to a very well-rendered setting and a change in narrative perspective, The Baddest Ass is just as compelling as the first two books.

Smith sets it in a half-completed prison where the guards are as corrupt as the prisoners, and everyone is in on a deal to assassinate Billy Lafitte, but let's say things don't go as planned. There are some intense scenes of violence here and a constant use of foul language that will no doubt turn some readers off, but in the hands of Smith, it all comes across as very real and--for the most part--believable. The book introduces several unforgettable characters, though you may want to forget them, as well as re-introducing characters from the first two books, who are shown in a slightly different light this time. Nothing is cookie cutter in Smith's universe.

There is a little too much "indestructibility" about Lafitte's character, but that is the only slight weakness I can come up with. It pains me to see authors who probably couldn't get a good grade in Smith's creative writing class making millions while he has to make do with a pittance. He is simply one of the best writers working today.

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