Thursday, October 30, 2014

Catching up on crime: STRAITS OF FORTUNE by Anthony Gagliano

Straits of FortuneFrom the back of the book:
Ex-cop Jack Vaughn, the best thing to happen to crime fiction since Chandler's Philip Marlowe hung up his holster, moved from the gritty streets of New York to Miami to work as a personal trainer. The sun, sand, and tanned bodies of Miami are a welcome distraction from the haunting memory of another cop's death in New York. But when he becomes involved with millionaire businessman Colonel Patterson, he realizes his new found peace is short-lived.

The Colonel offers Jack a hundred grand to do a seemingly simple favor. But getting involved with the Colonel also means getting involved with his daughter, the exotic wild child Vivian, who once broke Jack's heart. Jack had sworn to forget her, but this memorable cast of characters lures him back into their double-dealing circle.

The deeper he gets, the more Jack finds himself entangled in an ever-expanding web of lies, lust, and violence. A dark, hard-boiled look at the dangerous underbelly of glamorous Miami, Straits of Fortune is an unforgettable debut novel.

My Review:
STRAITS OF FORTUNE is a fun book to read. It’s noir with a nod to the Carl Hiaasen style of storytelling. The dark humour mixed with violence makes for a well-balanced cocktail of drama and suspense.

In Jack Vaughn, author Anthony Gagliano has created a likable protagonist who fits the Miami Beach noir mode to the fullest. He’s buff, fit, and an ex-cop turned personal trainer. His clients love him and it’s this connection that compliments the plot, making his actions and interactions plausible (at times Vaughn needs to rely on a gangster rapper and lawyer to help keep his head above water – in some instances literally).

Opening with a pulp style act 1, STRAITS OF FORTUNE quickly morphs into a much larger monster as bodies pile up and blackmail and family secrets come to surface.

I haven’t seen any other books out that feature Vaughn, hopefully this isn’t the only novel to feature him as I can’t help but think we’re just getting started. 

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