Thursday, March 10, 2016

Tommy Red -- Charlie Stella

If you miss Elmore Leonard, give Charlie Stella's Tommy Red a look.  It has dumb bad guys, bad good guys, great dialogue, humor,  and a plot that'll have you guessing about who's going to survive.

The title character is Tommy Dalton, an Irish hit man who freelances for the mob.  He has an ex-wife and three daughters, one of whom is in college and has just been told by the ex that her father is a hit man.  He also has a new job, a hit on an informant who's been fingered by a retired cop.

Tommy makes the touch, but the mob boss who hired him decides that there should be cleanup -- those connected with the hit have to die. Tommy's hard to kill, and he decides that a little revenge is in order.  Lots of people start dying.  The FBI is involved because of the death of the informant, and sometimes it's hard to tell the good guys from the bad guys.  Maybe they're all bad guys, and throughout the narrative Stella reminds the reader of some recent episodes that the police would probably like for us to forget, most prominently the Eric Garner incident.  Even the mob guys think it makes the cops look bad.

There's a lot going on in Tommy Red, and big props to Stella for wrapping it all up in about 150 trade paperback pages.  Good stuff and highly recommended. 


Gerard said...

I did not know a new Stella novel was coming. Maybe I should actually read those Stark House Press newsletters I receive.

Bill Crider said...

That's always a good idea.