Monday, February 3, 2014

Read: "The Hard Bounce" by Todd Robinson

Read: The Hard Bounce by Todd Robinson, 2013, 9781440558924.

I reserved this after reading a direct comparison to Lansdale's Hap and Leonard series.  That is not a fair comparison because Lansdale is Lansdale and no one else is Lansdale.

Short version: two bouncers are hired to find a missing teenager.
Longer version: two bouncers with anger issues are hired to find a missing teenager and discover a rape porn operation specializing in underaged girls.

Boo Malone and Junior grew up together in a state-sponsored orphanage.  They have a small security business hiring out to different Boston bars.  They are not P.I.'s but are hired by the campaign employees of a the D.A. to find the D.A.'s missing daughter, Cassandra (Cass).  Boo and Junior are known for keeping things quiet and the D.A. is running for mayor and cannot let out that his daughter ran away and is on the streets doing drugs. 

Boo insults people.  Boo threatens violence.  Boo does violence as he and Junior gradually work their way to Cass and find a snuff film of her being raped and murdered.  Boo and Junior's childhood's were not good.  They had plenty of abuse in the orphanage and are now out for blood.  They follow clues in the snuff film DVD to the snake tattooed rapist.  Well, it turns out the video was a fake - but they beat up Snake anyway, "rescue" the girl, and get paid $25,000.

But, wait!  The book is only halfway finished, what will happen next?  Well, Boo will get shot in the leg and his new girly-friend is threatened.  Boo and Junior will call up their orphanage pal who is insane.  They find out Snake is the nephew of Boston's most powerful mobster and Boo was being punished.  Cassandra will end up dead in a squat after running away again.  Boo disbelieves Cass died in an accident.  Boo has a big time hero complex for saving women.

Boo and Junior figure things out.  Boo and Junior create laughter.  Boo and Junior drink.  Boo and Junior argue.  Everything ends happily ever after with a bunch of dead people.

1.  I was reading this and thinking, "That's derivative" and "I've read that before".  But all fiction is derivative of something else.  Crazy Orphanage Graduate is like Mosley's Mouse.  Wise cracking duo is like Hap and Leonard.  Blah, blah, blah.  This was a fun story.  The only part I did not like is that I think Robinson kinda crammed the mobsters and DA storylines together at the end.
2.  Boston street geography love.
3.  Nice commentary on people slumming and looking down on others as lowlifes when those "lowlifes" just have less money and dress rattier.

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