Thursday, June 21, 2012

Whiplash River- Lou Berney

Whiplash River

Lou Berney

Morrow, July 10 2012, $14.99

ISBN: 9780062115287

After his second time behind bars for grand theft auto, Charles “Shake” Bouchon decides no more committing felonies as at forty-something he feels too old to rob cars and be a getaway driver like he was for the Armenian mob. He knows he must leave Southern California to succeed so he obtains a loan from Baby Jesus the Belizean drug lord and buys a restaurant in Belize.

However, business proves poor, leaving Shake behind on his payments to Baby Jesus who expects full remittance on time or else. Compounding his tsuris is the combat between his staff. Finally to make matters worse, Meg and Terry try to kill former diplomat Quinn in the restaurant. FBI agent Evelyn follows the agency credo that vacation time is still work time as she interrogates Shake over his Armenian mob connection. Quinn thanks Shake for saving his life by conning him into helping retrieve an American artifact held hostage in Egypt at the same Gina the hedge fund manager arrives to enact revenge for Shake dumping her while a killer lurks.

The second Shake zany thriller (see Gutshot Straight) is a wild affair as the cast to match a Cecil B. DeMille production makes life miserable for the hero who finds going straight with one degree of separation dangerous. The key to this engaging crazy storyline is that the support characters seem genuine with their reasoning for their actions understood though several seem to be missing an electron or two in their brain cells. Readers will enjoy this madcap Central American thriller as the American expatriate realizes he failed to go far enough from his roots.

Harriet Klausner

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