BELUGA by Rick Gavin


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Fifteen more rounds of violent farce for sometime–repo man Nick Reid.

Since splitting the $300,000 they lifted from a meth king at the end of Ranchero (2011), Nick and his partner, Desmond, have naturally been looking for investments that are safe and lucrative. Now, Larry Carothers, the ex-con brother of Desmond’s ex-girlfriend Shawnica, comes to them with an investment opportunity that promises to be neither. Larry, who’s christened himself Beluga LaMonte, knows where there’s a truckload of stolen Michelin tires just begging to be hijacked and resold. With an investment of $50,000—all right, $30,000—he’ll be ready to roll. Predictably, the folks who originally stole the tires have grown possessive about them. Lucas Shambrough, the genteel citizen behind the theft, puts on such highfalutin airs that he obviously thinks he belongs in another book. Instead of meting out violent retribution against Beluga and his backers, he’s content to send out his secret weapon: a female assassin named Mako, or Isis, or Alice Marie Fennick, costumed as a ninja schoolgirl, who leaves Beluga’s prison buddy Skeeter in a world of hurt and aims to spread the pain wherever she can. Nor can Nick and Desmond count on much help from the local law, since Choctaw/African-American cop Tula Raintree mainly seems interested in slapping the cuffs on Nick every chance she gets. As Nick, chained in a basement awaiting the ninja’s ministrations, sagely reflects, “It was hard at that point to imagine that this had all started because of some tires.”

Gavin updates the good-old-boy charm of the Smokey and the Bandit movie series but adds some sharp narration by a hero who’s still plenty dumb enough to get into some seriously funny trouble.

Pub Date: Nov. 6th, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-250-01522-8
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: Minotaur
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 2012


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