Reviewed By: Cheryl - RAM
Jack Keller, a veteran haunted by his past, is working a routine case as part of his job in 'bail enforcement'. In other words, he is a bounty hunter, an occupation reflecting the American fascination with the outsider; the flawed but sometimes heroic gunman who tames the west or goes after the bad guys without the benefits - or constraints - of membership in a police force.
Jack does not reflect on the mythology surrounding his job. As far as he is concerned, he is merely tracking down a minor criminal, the kind of wrongdoer who muddles through life without much ambition or forethought. Engaging in crimes without first thinking through what might ensue is dangerous. It can result in the criminal - and everyone around him - plunging into violent chaos. Jack's target - and therefore Jack - become embroiled in a series of unexpected and violent events as a result of the hapless scofflaw committing yet another crime - and this time, biting off far more than he can chew.
The criminally-inclined thoughtless small fry are well portrayed, both in their impulsive and poorly planned approach to crime and in their distracted and feckless lifestyle. The more professional and even more vicious criminals, and the often untrustworthy police play important roles in the story, as do the women in Jack's life.
The plot is fast-paced, punctuated with violent confrontations. The action is not the only strong point of the novel, as the interactions among the characters are realistic and convincing. This is an impressive debut novel.
Cheryl - RAM
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