Friday, February 05, 2016

FFB: Hail Storme (Dreamsicle) -- W. L. Ripley

What we have here is both an old and a new book.  In 1993 W. L. Ripley published Dreamsicle, which has become a sort of forgotten book.  Lee Goldberg and Joel Goldman remembered it, though, and they've brought it back as Hail Storme, giving it a new title that fits with others in the series, including the most recent one, Storme Warning, which I reviewed here.  When I read that one, I enjoyed it so much that I knew I'd have to go back and read the others in the series.  So I started with the first one, which is another winner.

As I mentioned, the original title of the book was Dreamsicle, and I thought it might have something to do with a tasty treat I remember fondly from my childhood, but that wasn't the case.

Wyatt Storme is a former star wide receiver for the Dallas Cowboys who's quit football at the peak of his fame because he doesn't like the invasion of his privacy that comes with being a star.  He wants to live an uncluttered life away from too much civilization. The book opens with Storme doing a bit of bow-hunting in the Ozarks and discovering a huge marijuana field.  He has to kill a vicious guard dog and wound a man to get away.

Storme has a well-developed moral code, so he reports the events to the local sheriff, who's killed almost immediately thereafter.  Storme can't let something like that pass, and before long he's hooked up with Chick Easton, a bounty hunter who becomes his psycho sidekick.  Storme is tough, but Chick might be even tougher, and he has a backstory that explains why he's a little bit crazy.  Chick is after a rogue chemist, and of course that ties in with the death of the sheriff and the marijuana field.  

Turns out there's a brand new drug, and it's called Dreamsicle. Powerful people are behind it, and they don't want any interference from outsiders like Storme and Easton.  Before long, it's two men against municipal corruption (crooked cops, crooked lawyers, crooked everybody), and Chick is arrested for the murder of the sheriff.  Storme's lawyer gets Chick released, and it's pretty much all-out war.  There's lots of shooting, lots of action, lots of dying, and lots of wisecracking before things are settled down.

In my earlier review, I said I was reminded of Spenser and Travis McGee by Ripley's book.  That's still true.  Entertaining macho stuff, slick writing, and great characters.  I'll be visiting this series again for sure.  


Jeff Meyerson said...

I've never read Ripley. Right now I'm drowning in books but it does sound possible.

Unknown said...

Thanks for the read and the review, Bill.

Mathew Paust said...

Anyone who likes Ross Thomas can't be all wrong. Ripley, huh? I missed your review of Storme Warning, Bill, but now I have a new storyteller to check out.

George said...

Sounds good! I'll track down a copy.

Glen Davis said...

I have all the Storme books. I also like Ripley's Cole Springer series.

Kent Morgan said...

I read Dreamsicle when it was Dreamsicle and think I still have the hardcover.