American Static Kindle Edition
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|Length: 328 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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The book starts with a bang - a young man Steven getting jumped and robbed - and pretty much remains pedal to metal all the way through. There's a pretty detailed outline above, so I'll avoid boring anyone with a rehash.
Pace - relentless.
Setting - San Francisco, one of my favourites.
Characters - where to begin. Likable, charismatic, amoral, driven, obsessed, naive, scared, bewildered, street-wise, honest, diligent, evil, funny, kind, corrupt, a huge capacity for violence, meticulous, cunning manipulative, powerful, controlling……
There’s a real depth to all the main players. Steven, young and foolish and in way over his head. Quinn, by one hand charming and engaging, then flick a switch - BOOM - a psychopath but a cool, clear-thinking, rational one at that. Kills for convenience or to enable a short term goal, I don't sense that he especially gets off on it. However - he's never less than interesting. He's on a mission and not much is going to stand in his way.
Pitts has a skill in making you care about the outcome for a lot of the participants, on a personal level as well as seeing how the larger narrative plays out for at least three of those involved; Steven, Teresa and Carl - a retired cop, willingly dragged into the pursuit of Quinn .
Along the way we have some unlikely alliances fostered, with a blurring of the lines as to who can be trusted and what their motivations are - there's plenty of shades of grey and at times I was undecided over how I felt about certain individuals - Tremblay, an ex-cop with a checkered past and a none too "honest Joe" present.
Plot - complex and satisfying. Revenge is at the forefront of our tale. Being the house down, or die trying, or maybe both.
Overall - very, very good, one minor plot point kind of niggled me (and still does), and has me regarding this as slightly less than the perfect book. (Too trivial to mention, but still.)
4.5 from 5
His earlier books are Hustle, Piggyback and Knuckleball.
Read in December, 2017
Published - 2017
Page count - 328
Source - Net Galley (cheers to publisher Down and Out Books)
Format - Kindle
I was bearing witness to such a growth in Tom Pitts when I dug into American Static. This novel, the second offering of his Northern California Quartet, brings to fruition to all the promise he has shown in his many novellas. The length of a novel fits Pitts well, as it allows him to stretch his plot over many story lines and allows him to bring his characters to life in a way that leaves a mark on the reader and leaves you feeling all the right emotions; concerns for the heroes in peril, anger towards the antagonists, and most importantly in the journey through a great book, caring about what happens to the characters, both good and bad ones.
I always why away from overdoing a synopsis in my reviews; hell you can go to Amazon or Goodreads for that. This plot has so much going on it is hard to offer up a paragraph to sum it up anyway. Suffice to say, it’s a great story of a boy running to escape only to end up in a nightmare way beyond his control. He encounters a man named Quinn, who may be one of the baddest bad-asses I have had the pleasure to read about in fiction as of late. Quinn goes where he wants to go, does what he wants to do, and kills who he wants to kill. The manner in which Pitts has pitted him against another psychopath, but allows Quinn to out-psycho him, allows you to see the depth of depravity that lies with Quinn’s dark, dark soul.
Books like this is why I love to read books…I was lost in Pitts’ world and loved every minute of the journey. Books like this are also why I enjoy putting out reviews…to get the opportunity to spread the word for authors who deserve a wider audience and to have the chance to put a book on someone’s radar and hope you opened their eyes to an author that will change them as a reader.
Pitts’ Northern California Quartet is two books deep and is picking up steam. The first book in the quartet was Hustle and that knocked my socks off. This book adds to the damage and I am hoping Pitts plans on following this 1-2 combo with a sharp uppercut and then the big KO. Godspeed on book 3 and 4 in the quartet…I am breathless in anticipation.
This is strong uncut stuff here and it’s highly recommended.
AMERICAN STATIC is a classic criminal revenge story. What makes it better than most novels of its ilk is how well it's told. You don't know what's really going on until past the half point, which is how thrillers should be done. Tom Pitts leads you to narrow corridors, which lead to bigger rooms, which lead to a central point you can't possibly know about until you made your way there. Feel me? That's what great storytellers do, use your perception against you. The story of AMERICAN STATIC will not blow you away with its originality, but it's powerful delivery will keep you engaged for its entire duration. Had a great time with this book.
I keep worrying Pitts won't live up to his last book. I'm going to stop. He keeps getting better.