Sunday, January 10, 2010

Stuff to Spy For by Don Bruns

Reviewed for "Review the Book"

Don Brun's characters come into the story fully fledged, at least they appear to be, although from the Prologue it would suggest the story is being told by a dead man. Nevertheless, the characters at the beginning are definitely like comfy socks, well-worn and comfortable, and so they should, this is the third book in the "Stuff" series.

Still acting in their high school personae, these two bumbling lifelong friends are still chasing the American Dream.  Even with Skip's Business School training he is still floundering in the security business he is now working for, while James works for Cap’n Crab.

An underachiever, Skip is put in charge of installing security for a government department (a big secret everyone seems to know), the Department of Defense, and it begins to look like they may finally be getting somewhere in life.  He hires his crew, including James, and as an afterthought he also hires their neighbour who has not particularly been of interest to them, but seemed to have some knowledge of the equipment.

Skip's first order of business though is to play the part of boyfriend to the boss' girl-friend to throw his wife off the scent of infidelity.  The plot is complicated and fun, I loved the interaction of all the characters, including those who have made their first appearance in this book.  I am at a slight loss because I have not read the first two, but this works just as well as a stand-alone and is a very enjoyable and fast read.

However, Skip is no sooner introduced to the project than the first body turns up his feet under his desk and is found laid out behind said desk, very dead. Then they learn that other people on the government project have gradually gone missing. To complicate matters more, there are some very strange characters populating the book, and more spy intelligence equipment is soon purchased, or borrowed in order to get to the bottom of things.  Skip is overwhelmed with women wanting his attention, not a common state.  James is the Hardy Boys fan who is the catalyst to getting the equipment, but who to spy on? There are so many possibilities, not to mention that they are being tracked themselves. 

Overall, this is definitely an entertaining book, complete with espionage, mystery, murder, spies spying on spies, and a romp that kept me reading. It was hard to put the book down. I most certainly will read the first two in the series.   5 stars

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