Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Whiplash River

Whiplash River by Lou Berney
HarperCollins Publishers, 7/10/2012
Trade Paperback,  320 pages
ISBN-13: 9780062115287
Shake Bouchon Series #2

Having left his life of crime behind, former getaway driver Charles "Shake" Bouchon has finally realized the dream of owning his own restaurant in Belize. Unfortunately, to do so he's had to go deep in debt to a murderous local drug lord named Baby Jesus. And when Shake thwarts an attempted hit on an elderly customer named Quinn, things go from bad to worse.  
Next thing Shake knows, his restaurant's gone up in flames and he's on the run from Baby Jesus, two freelance assassins, and a beautiful but ferocious FBI agent. Out of options, Shake has to turn to the mysterious Quinn for help. Suddenly Shake's up to his neck in a dangerous score that he'll never pull off unless he can convince an even more dangerous ex-girlfriend to join him.

My Thoughts:
Whiplash River by Lou Berney is one fun, crazy adventure. Charles "Shake" Bouchon has supposedly left his life of crime behind to pursue his dream of opening a restaurant in Belize, which was, unfortunately, financed through a risky loan from Baby Jesus, the head of a local drug smuggling operation. Suddenly Shake's dream literally explodes and he finds himself on the run with a senior citizen, Harry Quinn, whose mysterious past seems to be just another long story waiting to be told.
Shake saved Harry's life once, but why would someone  be trying to kill Harry, and now Shake, and who is ordering the hits? Will Shake meet the attractive Evelyn or see his former girlfriend, Gina, again? Traveling from Belize to the USA to Egypt while being stalked by an FBI agent and hunted by two hired killers, Shake may be looking at more dire consequences than an end to his dreams.
I don't want to give away too much of the plot because following it is most of the fun. Berney has written TV pilots and it shows. The writing is  tight, smart and funny and clever and... it's great. The plot is action packed and races along quickly. I can picture this as a series that will have some longevity. There is action, humor, gun play, chases, narrow escapes, and even a little romance.
All the characters are well developed as individuals with human flaws. Shake is wonderfully inept at times and Harry was a hoot. I could really visualize this old guy and all his stories that you aren't sure how much is true, even while they never quite offer up the complete truth or all the information you actually need. It's was easy to follow the characters along too, even though he does have a cast of them.
Make no mistake about it, Whiplash River is funny and clever. This is a sequel to Burney's first novel, Gutshot Straight (2010). I am going to have to get my hands on a copy of it ASAP. While you can certainly appreciate Whiplash River as a stand alone novel, after reading it, I predict you will feel the same way I do and want to read the first novel. 
Whiplash River is highly recommended to offer up some great escapism and entertainment!
Lou Berney is an accomplished writer, teacher, and liar who has written feature screenplays and created TV pilots for Warner Brothers, Paramount, Focus Features, ABC, and Fox, among others. His short fiction has appeared in the New Yorker, Ploughshares, the Pushcart Prize anthology, and other publications. His first novel, Gutshot Straight, was named one of the ten best debut crime novels of the year by Booklist and nominated for a Barry Award.
Disclosure: I received an advanced reading copy of this book from  HarperCollins and TLC for review purposes. 

Lou's Tour Stops:

Tuesday, August 2nd: Book Reviews by Elizabeth A. White

Thursday, August 9th: Mysteries and My Musings – review

Monday, August 13th: No More Grumpy Booksellers

Tuesday, August 14th: Conceptual Reception

Thursday, August 16th: Life In Review

Monday, August 20th: Mysteries and My Musings – Q&A

Tuesday, August 21st: West Metro Mommy

Wednesday, August 22nd: she treads softly

Thursday, August 23rd: Mockingbird Hill Cottage

Monday, September 3rd: Sara’s Organized Chaos

Wednesday, September 5th: Seaside Book Nook

Thursday, September 6th: M. Denise C.

Monday, September 10th: Lance Mannion

Wednesday, September 12th: Kristina’s Favorites

1 comment:

Heather J. @ TLC Book Tours said...

I hope you enjoy the first book as much as you enjoyed this one!

Thanks for being on the tour.