A slightly uneasy blend of elements from The Hunger Games, the movie Crank 2, and the classic Richard Connell short story “The Most Dangerous Game” (to which the author refers early on), the latest Nicholas Colt novel finds the rock star turned private investigator captured by a wealthy nut-case and forced to compete in a real-world version of a murderous online game, Snuff Tag 9, the object of which is to kill all your opponents or be killed. The book really shouldn’t work as well as it does. The premise is not exactly fresh, and there are some really implausible elements—combatants are fitted with special defibrillators that will kill them if they don’t play by the rules, which Crank 2 fans will recognize as a light twist on that movie’s killer ingredient—and the villain is so over the top that you can’t help picturing him wringing his hands and drooling a little. But, thanks mostly to the book’s narrator, the disgruntled, wisecracking Colt, and to the author’s enthusiastic writing style, readers should have a good time with this one. It’s not meant to be taken too seriously anyway, so put aside the nitpickery and enjoy the show.