Friday, June 03, 2016

Friday Forgotten Books, June 3, 2016


 Thanks to Todd Mason for manning the ship while I was away. Hope everyone will read a Rex Stout book for next month's special edition. Also if I was supposed to write something for your blog for A SHOT IN DETROIT (I remember Bill's) please let me know. Gremlins have made off with my list.

 From the archives, Charlie Stella reviews John Fetridges' LET IT RIDE

Charlie Stella is the author of six novels about the New York underworld, most recently TOMMY RED.

John McFetridge’s Let It Ride presents a lot of subplots to keep readers engaged. A husband and wife, fresh from a swing party, are mistakenly whacked by a hit man while in a semi-compromising position in their car while driving home from a swing party. The hit man could only see the driver (so yous figure out the position). A couple of veterans used to hustling drugs and guns out of Afghanistan are joined in Toronto where one of them,
JT (a Canadian Afghanistan veteran) is about to earn his full patch (become a made man, so to speak) for the gang run by Richard Tremblay (another subplot), a full patch who seeks the ultimate power (cappo di tutti cappi, so to speak). Vernard “Get” McGetty is the Detroit half of the connection and always looking for something better. After delivering some hardware up to JT in Toronto, he’s shown the ropes of the motorcycle gang world (and notices how many of the motorcyclists drive SUV’s) … JT shows him how they operate and it is impressive.
There’s also Sunitha, an Indian "rub and tug" (hand job) hooker with a second gig heading a small band of women who rob massage parlors of the almost rich and not so famous. She wants more and is ambitious enough to get it. Once she hooks up with Get (after JT takes him for some relief), she sees gold in her future.
Literally gold.
There’s also a subplot that has to do with the law trying to solve the couple murdered in their car … Maureen McKeon is cop no longer satisfied with her home life, her husband or young infant ... and she’s drinking again.
There are also those pesky, but not so powerful eye-talians out and about; with a subplot within their story as well.
Hookers and hit men abound … the names of the characters sub-title each chapter so there’s no reason to get lost. Let It Ride is chock full of references to the author the author of Let it Ride is most often compared to (say that three times fast). The name Elmore Leonard and several of his works make a few appearances, in tribute, I suspect. The references work well, as does the writing in this exciting page turner from the Toronto Bills very own crime fiction specialist.
The bit about full patches … essentially, a Full Patch = Made Man … north of the border there are motorcycle gangs that operate much the same way traditional organized crime does (or did); those seeking full honors in the program need to prove themselves over time … earn their stripes (so to speak) and then be approved by a board (of sorts) before they can become full patch members. There are rules one needs to abide along the way (or at least not get caught breaking them) and some are pretty similar to those the Italian-American mob are supposed to abide by.
Like don’t screw the wife of a made guy/full-patch and get caught without expecting to meet your maker. It’s one of the rules tested by JT …
No spoilers here … but know that McFetridge does very good work. He teaches as well as entertains. Let It Ride offers convincing snapshots of the different characters who inhabit our world. Like them or not, their choices are much more understandable by the novel’s several endings (each character has one, whether open ended or not). I never imagined motorcycle gangs were so powerful until I saw a documentary on the subject. It was chilling. Let It Ride was a reminder of just how powerful a group of determined sociopaths can be in a society unprepared for the violence and protected by law enforcement as corruptible as politicians.
Take a journey with this character driven novel of crime that takes place north of the border. You’ll meet interesting people at each turn; characters that both frighten and intrigue. Let It Ride is the character driven page turner we expect from McFetridge and we’re always glad to see some of his characters from prior works appear. Comparisons to the master from Detroit are valid. North of the boarder, McFetridge’s people inhabit the gritty world it is better to read about than taste first hand. Let It Ride lets us do that. An intriguing novel about opportunistic characters seizing their day. Carpe Diem indeed. McFetridge is the real deal.

Sergio Angelini, SCRATCH A THIEF and HOUSE OF EVIL, John Trinian
Yvette Banek, DEATH BY A HONEYBEE, Abigail Keam
Joe Barone, THE STRANGE DEATH OF FIONA GRIFFITHS. Harry Bingham
Les Blatt, THROUGH A GLASS, DARKLY, Helen McCloy
Elgin Bleeker, THE SNATCHERS, Lionel White
Brian Busby, AFTER YPRES, Robert Stanley Weir
Bill Crider, CHUCK BERRY: THE AUTOBIOGRAPH
Scott Cupp, THE OPENER OF THE WAY, Robert Bloch
Martin Edwards, DEATH STALKS A LADY, Shelly Smith
Curt Evans, DEATH OF A TRAVELING MAN and DEATH OF A BORE, M.C. Beaton
Ed Gorman, BLACK FRIDAY, David Goodis
Rick Horton, THE ULTIMATE WEAPON/THE PLANETEERS, John W. Campbell
Jerry House, HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, HARRISON HIGH, John Farris
George Kelley, THE OXFORD BOOK OF FANTASY STORIES, ed. Tom Shippey
Margot Kinberg, FOR THE LOVE OF MIKE, Rhys Bowen
Rob Kitchin. ELEGY FOR APRIL, Benjamin Black
B.V. Lawson, THE DANCING MAN, P.M. Hubbard
Steve Lewis/William Deeck, DOUBLY DEAD, James M. Patterson
Todd Mason, Strange Highways: READING SCIENCE FANTASY, John Boston and Damien Broderick
J.F. Norris, THE SECRET OF THE SEA- DREAM HOUSE, Albert Payson Terhune
Mathew Paust, THE LOBBYISTS, Jeffrey N. Birnbaum
Reactions to Reading, THE CAVEMAN, Jorn Lier Horst (winnter of the Petrona Award)
James Reasoner, NORMANDY: A GRAPHIC HISTORY OF D-DAY,Wayne Vansant
Richard Robinson, DEATH WATCH, Cynthis Harrod-Eagles
Gerard Saylor, MR. MONK GOES TO HAWAII, Lee Goldberg
Kerrie Smith, THE BATTLING PROPHET, Arthur Upfield
Kevin Tipple, BAD THOUGHTS, Dave Zeltserman
TomCat, FOUR STRANGE WOMEN, E. R. Punshon
TracyK, TINKER, TAILOR, SOLDIER, SPY, John LeCarre

10 comments:

Todd Mason said...

Welcome back! Get some sleep...

Elgin Bleecker said...

Patti – My FFB is now ready. I hope you can add it to this week’s list. Thanks.

Mathew Paust said...

What Todd said. Here's my FFB: https://mdpaust.blogspot.com/2016/05/the-lobbyists-how-influence-peddlers.html

Charles Gramlich said...

I just bought a Rex stout book so I'll have to see what I can do. Feeling like a Star Trek kick at the moment, though.

Mathew Paust said...

Here's the URL again. Now it's HOT!! https://mdpaust.blogspot.com/2016/05/the-lobbyists-how-influence-peddlers.html

Margot Kinberg said...

What a great reminder, Patti, that I must spotlight one of McFetridge's novels! Thank you. And thanks for including my post.

Todd said...

And it looks like Juri had one late...maybe next week: http://pulpetti.blogspot.com/2016/06/fridays-forgotten-book-it-rhymes-with.html

TracyK said...

I will definitely be reading a book for the Rex Stout special edition, since he is my favorite author. Some Buried Caesar, have been wanting to reread it for a while.

Thanks for including my post.

noirencyclopedia said...

I've been enjoying these extremely useful lists for a while, thanks to Todd's propagation of them. Is there a way I can sign up for direct email updates of the blog?

Juri Nummelin said...

Here's also mine, belatedly:

http://pulpetti.blogspot.fi/2016/06/fridays-forgotten-book-it-rhymes-with.html