George Dawes Green
Grand Central, Jul 15 2009, $24.95
In Brunswick, Georgia dirt poor whites Mitch and Patsy Boatwright win the $318 million Max-a-Million jackpot. Shaw McBride and Romeo Zderko are passing through town on their way to Ohio when they hear the news that a local yokel couple won the jackpot. The traveling pair decides to stay in town a few days to share in the winnings though they are strangers.
Shaw concocts the scheme of bluffing the duo into believing that he and Romeo are vicious lethal thugs instead of mentally tired programmers. He informs the Boatwright’s that they will hand over half or die along with their loved ones like their twentyish daughter college student Tara. Shocked and frightened Mitch and Patsy agree once they collect their money starting with introducing his lottery partner Shaw at a press conference.
This excellent regional psychological thriller works because of the strong cast who embellishes the story line with local flavoring and brings out the worst in the two wannabe con artists. Intriguingly the Boatwright family may be the victims fearful of the mentally bullying Shaw and the overwhelmingly physical threat from the ironically named Romeo, yet they also fall victims to the Stockholm syndrome as they begin to cherish their avarice banes who hold them hostage for the loot. Fans will enjoy this tense psychological thriller as George Dawes Green shows the human caring side to his major characters as much as their depraved needs. This is a strong exhilarating small town Georgia thriller.