Friday, January 09, 2015

Friday's Forgotten Bools, Friday, January 9, 2015

Charlie Stella is the author of JOHNNY PORNO, CHEAPSKATE and other fine crime novels.

John McFetridge, LET IT RIDE. 

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


Joe Barone, TOO BIG TO MISS, Sue Ann Jaffarian
Brian Busby, UNDER SEALED ORDERS, Grant Allen
Bill Crider, THE LIBERATED FUTURE, Robert Hoskins ed.
Martin Edwards, AT THE VILLA ROSA, A. E. W. Mason
Curt Evans, WISTERIA COTTAGE, Robert M Coates
Rick Horton, WHEN KNIGHTHOOD WAS IN FLOWER, Edwin Caskodin
Jerry House, THE WITCHING LAND, Hugh B. Cave
Randy Johnson, DANGER: DINOSAURS, Evan Hunter
George Kelley, BATWING AND FIRE-TONGUE, Sax Rohmer
Margot Kinberg, CONFESSIONS, Kanae Minato
Rob Kitchin, LET THE DEAD LIE, Malla Nunn
B.V. Lawson, THE BAIT, Dorothy Uhnak
Steve Lewis/Mark Nevins, THE HOT SPOT, Charles Williams
Steve Lewis/Barry Gardner, THE SNAKE EATER, William Tapply
Todd Mason
Neer, A Baker's Dozen: Favorite Books of 2014
J.F Norris, GROANING SPINNEY, Gladys Mitchell
Juri Nummelin, THE STRAW MEN, Michael Marshall
James Reasoner, OPERATION OUTER SPACE, Murray Leinster
Richard Robinson, SCARLET RIDERS, ed. Don Hutchinson
Gerard Saylor, WHERE THE DEAD LAY, William Levien
Ron Scheer, KARNAK CAFE, Naguib Mahfouz
Kevin Tipple/Barry Ergang, BIMBOS OF THE DEATH SUN, Sharyn McCrumb
TomCat, CASE CLOSED, Gosho Ayoma
TracyK, A LATE PHOENIX, Catherine Aird
Prashant Trikannad, A CENTURY OF NOIR, ed. Mickey Spillane and Max Allan Collins


Unknown said...

And there is this regular weekly installment (with a slightly different title) at Beyond Eastrod:

Rick Robinson said...

Have a wonderful time in SoCal. I'm sure you'll be glad to get away from the cold!

Will you be doing FFB while there or...?

J F Norris said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Charles Gramlich said...

Let it ride sounds like my kind of thriller.

Rick Robinson said...

For some reason, novels, even short stories involving gangs, whether they be local or big time, turn me off. The whole head set of a gang is so against my social and cultural preferences that I wind up gritting my teeth throughout, hoping the whole lot of them will get wiped out somehow and the "good guys" will triumph. Not that I haven't read a few, some of them very good, but mostly I just stay away.

J F Norris said...

(Let me try again...)

Here's the link to my post:
Groaning Spinney by Gladys Mitchell

Jerry House said...

I have one this week, also, Patti: THE WITCHING LANDS by Hugh B. Cave.

Anonymous said...

I really appreciate the way you always include my posts, Patti.