Thursday, August 26, 2010
Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves by Larry Seeley
Reviewed for Read the Book
Published by: Eloquent Books
Larry Seeley begins his book with a somewhat exciting prologue, then drops back to two years previously, setting characters, setting plot, and the breakup of a major scam. As head of a company that built Tribal casinos, our protagonist Jack Sloan, unwittingly becomes sucked into the scam. While trying to escape, he kills two men in self-defense. With his own money, he makes sure that as many investors in the scam as possible get their money back, but he is unable to finish what he started for the Tribe. He feels responsible for the loss of the Tribe's funding and can't free himself of his self-imposed guilt.
From that point the book seems to slow down temporarily, as Jack falls into his own personal hell and back, then gradually builds his new life in Santa Fe. Here the book and Jack begin to take a turn for the better. Although he anticipates payback from the unavoidable murders of two of the main players in the scam, he begins to enjoy life again, yet he stays alert. In his life in Santa Fe new characters are introduced to the story, adding friends to his life.
Suspense is always in the background of the book, sometimes wriggling through to the forefront but mostly just there, day and night, hauntingly. Some rough sex and language in the book, but certainly no more than one would expect from the characters involved.
Characterizations play a major role in the growth of the book and many defining moments are a result of this. All characters are full-blown, although some harbour surprising secrets of their own. The more I read, the more I got into the book, after my earlier thoughts of "let's get into this!" As the book picked up speed, so did my reading.
Once in Santa Fe, Jack purchases a ranch and a bar. The bar soon became a meeting place for his new friends, including the Shaman John Thunder. The person who really captured his attention was the new waitress, Darlene, young, smart, beautiful and unattached. Darlene also lost her aunt through the machinations of the prime character in the scam. Eventually, Jack has a large number of friends including his cook and handyman prepared and determined to stand by him if necessary. Life seems to be turning around for him, then his past starts visiting him and his nightmares become real. Not really his past but the people who dragged him into near oblivion with their scam. One by one they begin to show up and he knows they will soon make their move and come after him.
By this time, the story is going full bore and coming full circle. Everything is building up steam for a major blowout, but where will it be? The ranch, the bar, or the house where all the scam team are currently lodged? The book comes to a surprising yet satisfying ending on several counts. There is lots of action, lots of identities/characters, plotting, good guys and bad guys, each trying to out-think the other or try to decide what the other is thinking. I found that once I really got into the book, I rarely set it down. If you enjoy this book, you are in luck, the author is already at work on a sequel.