Friday, December 18, 2009

Gutshot Straight-Lou Berney

Gutshot Straight
Lou Berney
Morrow, Jan 5 2010, $24.99
ISBN: 9780061766046

After spending three years behind bars, Charles “Shake” Bouchon is freed by the State of California. He loathed his time in prison and vowed to stay clean by opening up a restaurant.

In Los Angeles powerful Armenian mob kingpin Alexandra Ilandryan offers Shake a chance to make some money. He accepts the work from his former employer to deliver a package to associates in Vegas and return with a briefcase. However the package he is bringing to insane mob mogul Dick “the Whale” Moby turns out to be Gina Clement, who claims to be a housewife, but is a con artist who shammed Moby Dick. Instead of completing the delivery, Shake decides to run away with Gina and some rare valuable religious icons with irate mobsters from two states, their hit men, and others with a grudge against one or both of the couple on the lam. However, Shake soon realizes the most dangerous of the bunch is his running companion.

Any moment readers will expect to find Elmore Leonard driving the vehicle as this great crazy crime caper will remind the audience of the great author’s wild rides. The story line is fast-paced, seemingly out of control at times (though never happens), and filled with zany action. The cast is strong especially the lead couple and the mob leaders as Lou Berney proves “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.

Harriet Klausner