Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Pandemic: "Rough Trade" by Todd Robinson

Pandemic: Rough Trade by Todd Robinson, 2016, 9781943818006.

Boo and Junior are still in their late 20s (or so) and working as bouncers at a lower rent Boston bar. They don't make much money. Their social and work lives are interjoined. One of the bar's waitresses asks them to scare off the former boyfriend of her roommate, Dana, because the ex keeps harassing Dana.

Boo and Junior fumble their way through a overly harsh warning that involves a kidnapping. Then the ex-boyfriend turns up dead and Boo and Junior are the main suspects. Standard crime novel shenanigans follow and Boo and Junior have to figure a way out of a murder charge and a couple subplots. Well, Boo figures a way out because Junior is a bit of an idiot. 

Plenty of wintertime cold, bad guys who beat the snot out of Boo, and Boo facing a reckoning on an anti-gay stance he never realized he had. An anti-gay stance that Junior vocally exceeds. Boo also has to fight his need to rescue women and reason against his knee jerk loyalty to the pals that helped one another survive their orphanage.

Robinson mixes all this stuff together and does so very well. But, I read this quite a bit ago and cannot recall all the details. There were some fist fights. Some scheming. Some pondering. Some amateur sleuthing. Plenty of Boo's past and present coming together as he works to learn and better himself. 

Boo's self realization is well done and gives the story oomph.

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