I absolutely love this book. Wonderfully witty, gritty and totally engaging. Cowboy come-back and guns in modern USA.
Ripley gives us a man’s book, and and as a woman stepping inside that world I just loved every single word of it.
What’s it about?
The making of a cowboy film being made on his land, should pose no problem for Wyatt Storme reclusive ex footballer since retired, but hey of course it does! With his friend Chick Easton hired as bodyguard to arrogant, irritating actor Cam Fogarty, they get caught up in action that Chick relishes with the biggest smile on his face, and Storme wishes would just go away.
What did I like best?
I loved the characters that Ripley gives us putting them in a setting that is wide open, with cowboy boots and cigars, all wrapped up in a film set.
I was visibly grinning and chuckling the whole way through this book - not just a bit of it, ALL of it. I loved the sarcasm, the cigars, the guns, if I could be a man I want to be Wyatt’s friend Chick D. Easton.
The book leads up like a cowboy film, someone needing someone’s help being told the ride may get rough.
Don’t make the mistake in thinking this is simple piece of writing, Ripley shows skill in weaving in classical writing. Look at the way he describes Wyatt questioning the actress Valerie about Fogarty:
"Come back sometime. The door’s always open.” She smiled, pleased with her playfulness.
Thoreau says man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to leave alone. I would tend to agree with him. So I left.
Both Wyatt and Chick have the same humour so that you know whenever they open their mouths to speak, you just want hear what comes out.
Rory Marchibroda who is a nasty piece of work wants to pay Wyatt back for putting him in jail, is another great character. He models himself on cool guys in films played actors like by De Niro, it is so funny:
Stay cool. De Niro would be cool, wouldn’t he? Yeah.
…”Ya know,” he said, composing himself, “had a lot of time to myself in the slam. Thought about a lot of things.” Like how it was going to feel to bust a cap on your backward country ass, you smug piece of shit. “You know what I thought about?”
“what it was like in the third grade? Back when your mental processes stagnated?”
This is a novel of substance too, starting out with guarding an actor, becoming interweaved with gang bosses, and hit-men at cross purposes. A community fighting to stay alive, with shallow actors who live in another world, and at its centre unwillingly is Wyatt Storme and Chick Easton wearing cowboy boots.
I can’t help but show you guys just what excited me about this book:
Marchibroda. A guy who wants to kill me called to keep me from being killed by someone else. What a life.
I reloaded the Remington pump with double-aught buckshot and loaded a Browning autoloading rifle with soft-nosed .30-06 bullets. I loaded four fourteen-round clips for the twin Browning nines and strapped on a shoulder holster, hanging one of the pistols in it. I placed the other pistol in a clip-on at the small of my back. The only thing more uncomfortable than carrying a concealed large-frame handgun was carrying two concealed large-frame handguns. I was also carrying a Puma knife strapped to my leg.
Had a nine-mill gun in my pocket for fun and a razor in my shoe.
What’s not to love about fiction that promises action on every level with a sardonic wit to match.
Many thanks to the publisher for a copy via NetGalley.