Friday, August 04, 2017

FFB: The Backup Men -- Ross Thomas

As I've mentioned many times before, Ross Thomas is one of my favorite writers, and rereading his books is always a pleasure.  This one is no exception.

Mac McCorkle and Mike Padillo, in their third adventure, are hired as bodyguards for the new king of a Middle Eastern country where a lot of oil has been discovered.  They're not the primary bodyguards; they're the backup men to the two primaries, Wanda and her brother, Gothar.  They'll be going up against two of the best assassins in the business, two who might even be better at their jobs than Padillo.  Everyone knows that McCorkle's not really very good, but he tags along because where would the book be without its narrator?

As is almost always the case in one of Thomas' books, hardly any of the characters are what they appear to be at first, and the road trip to get the king crowned is full of dangers that not even Padillo anticipates.  The narration is smooth is silk, the action is fast, the suspense mounts, and all too often the wrong people die (a characteristic of Thomas' books that I admit bothers me more than it should). 

If you've read Thomas before, you know how good he is.  If you haven't, what are you waiting for? 


Barry Ergang said...

I first discovered Ross Thomas with Chinaman's Chance and then The Eighth Dwarf, and I was hooked.

George said...

THE EIGHTH DWARF is my favorite Ross Thomas novel.

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

I've read them all. I'd pick THE FOOLS IN TOWN ARE ON OUR SIDE out of three or four top choices.

Mathew Paust said...

I share Jeff's preference for Fools, altho everything I've read of Thomas's has been worthwhile. A generally underrated writer, seems to me. (Now I need to read Backup Men!

Don Coffin said...

I's sure he wrote a bad book...but I can't remember one. Twilight at Mac's Place" might be my favorite (although I've actually used the plot hook in The Money Harvest when I was teaching...economics).

FreeLiveFree said...

This one of the few Ross Thomas books that I haven't read and even rarer don't own.

The only one I read but didn't like was The Seersucker Whipsaw and even that had it's moments. The best was either Chinaman's Chance or "Fools."