Sunday, January 26, 2014

Review of THE BITCH from Keith Nixon on Big Al's Books and Pals blog



Hi folks,

Just got another great review from Keith Nixon on Big Al's Books and Pals! 

Sunday, January 26, 2014
The Bitch / Les Edgerton

http://www.amazon.com/Bitch-Edgerton-ebook/dp/B00HWJS2BQ/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1390763210&sr=1-1&keywords=the+bitch+by+les+edgerton


Reviewed by: Keith Nixon

Genre: Crime Fiction / Noir

Approximate word count: 80-85,000 words

Availability    
Kindle  US: YES  UK: YES  Nook: NO  Smashwords: NO  Paper: YES
Click on a YES above to go to appropriate page in Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Smashwords store

Author:

Les Edgerton is the author of fifteen books. He is an ex-con and served two years for a single charge of burglary, reduced from 182, two strong-arm robberies, an armed robbery, and a count of possession with intent to deal. Today, he's completely reformed. Prior to this Les served in the U.S. Navy as a cryptographer during the Cuban Crisis and the beginning of the Vietnam War.

After making parole Les obtained a B.A. from Indiana University and then received his MFA in Writing (Fiction) from Vermont College. He teaches workshops nationwide on writing. Born in Texas, Les now lives in Indiana with his family.

You can learn more about the author at his blog.

Description:

Jake Bishop is on the straight and narrow. His prison sentence is a long way behind him. Life is good. He’s married and is about to start his own business. But then an old cell mate, Walker Joy, arrives on the scene. He once saved Jake’s life and is demanding repayment in the shape of a burglary he needs help pulling. The problem for Jake is The Bitch – the three strikes and you’re out rule. He can’t say yes, but he daren’t say no…

Appraisal:

This is the third Les Edgerton book I’ve read and reviewed. All have been different in style. The others, The Rapist and Just Like That both started with a bang. However The Bitch is more of a slow burn.
Jake initially meets Walker out of a sense of duty and friendship (a theme that runs throughout the novel) but soon discovers he’s been betrayed. In prison Jake told Walker about a couple of crimes he hadn’t been caught for and Walker (a less than reputable and trustworthy individual) spilled them to a jeweler friend, Spencer. It’s Spencer who wants the robbery to go ahead and he uses every means to rope Jake in – including falsely accusing Jake’s brother of a crime.

What’s particularly smart about The Bitch is the steady ramp up of tension and pressure with every chapter as Jake gets drawn deeper and deeper in. As he spills from one event to another nothing goes quite right, so the implications steadily increase – from robbery, to kidnap and eventually to murder. Jake is trying to find a way of getting his old life back and keeping his misdeeds from his wife. But he can’t.

As previously mentioned relationships are absolutely key to The Bitch. Good and bad. Towards the end Edgerton reveals why Jake couldn’t simply stroll away from Walker, he owes him a lot. Edgerton also takes Jake’s options away one by one to the point that there’s a sad inevitability about the ending, like a car crash you can see coming, but can’t and don’t want to avoid.

This is a really enjoyable story. Very well written and highly compelling. The characters are strong, the dialogue rough and tough. Well worth picking up.

FYI:

Some swearing.

Format/Typo Issues:

None.


Rating: ***** Five Stars





Thanks, Keith--I really appreciate this and am delighted that you liked it.

Blue skies,
Les

2 comments:

Donna Hole said...

I'm sold on the novel from the review. I have a question though Les:

Why does everything I read about you START with the criminal background. That was sooo ancient history, and your writing is good enough it doesn't need that "bad boy" reference.

Anyway, good review. Sounds like a book I'd like to read.

......dhole

Les Edgerton said...

Thanks, Donna. Good question and I imagine the reason is that what I'm writing these days is mostly crime, thrillers and noir... which is directly related to my criminal past. Also, my criminal activities perhaps aren't so long ago... The things I did time for are, but that may not have ended then... Just sayin'...

Also, I did outlaw acts mostly to accumulate material for my writing--ala Jack London--and I use 'em... Kind of like Eddie Bunker, it's my material. Or Tim O'Brien with his war experiences... Or, Erma Bombeck with her housewife experiences...

Make sense?

If you get it, hope you enjoy it!