Be glad in the Lord and rejoice! Psalm 32:11

Monday, January 25, 2010

Gutshot Straight by Lou Berney - a thrill ride of a novel!

Sometimes you just got to take a leap out of your comfort zone and try something new! I'm not a huge fan of "guy" books, but was intrigued when I received Lou Berney's "Gutshot Straight."

For one thing, I'm a poker player, and I knew the term "gutshot straight." And for another, the book is set partially in Las Vegas, where my husband and I got married (in a real church, not a chapel, thank you!) and lived for a short while.

I was pleasantly surprised by "Gutshot Straight"! It was good, and I want more!

When “Shake” Bouchon was released from prison, he had big plans. He was going to pick up the pieces of his life, walk the straight line, and save up money to open a restaurant.

Well, that idea lasted about as long as it took him to step off the bus and back into the clutches of his former boss and sometimes lady friend Alexandra “Lexy” Ilandryan. The head of the Armenian L.A. mob, Lexy has a job for Shake that sounds almost too simple to be true – drive a car to Vegas, pick up something for Lexy, and come back to L.A.

Yep, too good to be true.

When he hears a thumping from the car’s trunk, Shake knows he’s about to find himself right in the middle of trouble, mainly in the form of a cute con artist, Gina Clement. Gina is on the run from a “whale” with a briefcase full of religious relics, 100 ancient foreskins to be exact! So Shake can either grab and return the tiny exotic dancer with big plans to the original bad guys, or he helps Gina in her quest for millions. Either way, life has sure become a lot more exciting than it was playing two bit poker in the slammer!

Shake and Gina’s adventures take them from the bright lights of Vegas to the rain forests of Panama as they race to beat the Armenians and the Nevada mob to a mysterious millionaire who is determined to own the creepy artifacts.

“Gutshot Straight” by Lou Berney is a fast-paced, sexy novel, packed with spine-tingling intrigue and money-induced lust. Berney, an accomplished screenwriter brings his detail-oriented expertise to his fiction work in this debut novel, and the book reads like a movie. Readers can almost imagine the who the actors would be portraying this lively and diverse cast of misfits as the words play out the story in their minds, In my opinion, that’s a pretty good mark of a great storyteller.

Just in case you’re curious, a “gutshot straight” is a poker term for a hand in which the player is drawing at a single card rank to make a straight. It’s risky, but rewards the player with a big payoff if it works – pretty much describes Lou Berney’s excellent novel.

Check out this cool trailer about the book!

Thank you to William Morrow Books for the review copy of Gutshot Straight. I reviewed this book under no obligations.

(and yes, I'm on a Bon Jovi kick for the music!)


Scobberlotcher said...

This is one book I've been wanting to read since I heard about it a month ago. So glad you liked it. :) First time to your blog, by the way. I came over from THE Pulpwood Queen.

Janel said...

This does sound like a fun book and, no, I wouldn't have picked it up on my own either. My friend lives in Las Vegas, so it does sound interesting.

Sheila Deeth said...

Sounds interesting. I read anything that my sons read.

....Petty Witter said...

200+ posts, as you say, how quickly time passes. Many thanks for your best wishes Sharon, they really did means such a lot to me. Now feeling so much better, I look forward to catching up with you.