Saturday, April 13, 2013

Special Addition Book Review: The Hard Bounce

by: Todd Robinson

From the Back Cover:

Boo Malone lost everything when he was sent to St. Gabriel’s Home for Boys. There, he picked up a few key survival skills; a wee bit of an anger management problem; and his best friend for life, Junior. Now adults, Boo and Junior have a combined weight of 470 pounds (mostly Boo’s), about ten grand in tattoos (mostly Junior’s), and a talent for wise-cracking banter. Together, they provide security for the Cellar, a Boston nightclub where the bartending Audrey doles out hugs and scoldings for her favorite misfits, and the night porter, Luke, expects them to watch their language. At last Boo has found a family.

But when Boo and Junior are hired to find Cassandra, a well-to-do runaway slumming among the authority-shy street kids, Boo sees in the girl his own long-lost younger sister. And as the case deepens with evidence that Cassie is being sexually exploited, Boo’s blind desire for justice begins to push his surrogate family’s loyalty to the breaking point. Cassie’s life depends on Boo’s determination to see the case through, but that same determination just might finally drive him and Junior apart. What’s looking like an easy payday is turning into a hard bounce—for everyone.

My Two Cents:

So, I cried through the entire book; some were tears for the pain Boo and Junior had suffered throughout their childhood, or for Cassandra and her life on the run, as well as her return to her father.  Most of the tears, however, were from laughing.  The dialogue between Boo and Junior had me cracking up; I had to put the book down a couple of times to get myself under control.  

This is a very well-written book.  All of the characters came to life, were believable and real, with very little sugar-coating.  Every single character in this book has flaws, serious flaws.  It not only blurred the line between “good guys” and “bad guys,” the line was snuffed out like the still burning butt of one of Boo’s cigarettes.

There were some places where there were odd exchanges with the reader, as if the narrator was addressed the reader personally.  My only analogy is when a character in a movie turns to the camera and addresses the viewer.  Either I failed to notice it throughout the entirety of the book, or it only occurred at the beginning; but whatever the case, it was very minor and did not detract from the story, or the overall flow. 

By the end of the book, I wanted to know more about what happened to Boo and Junior, which is always the mark of a great story.  I look forward to reading more from Mr. Robinson, and give this

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