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A Fair Wack Paperback – April 10, 2014
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
About the Author
While working as an economic development and regeneration consultant, Pete Trewin met some dodgy characters and gained a knowledge of how you might launder ill-gotten money via property development. Not direct experience, obviously. This set him on the path of writing crime novels. Pete was born in Middlesbrough under the shadow of the steel mills but has lived for many years in Liverpool.
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against the corrupt politicians and mobsters who are financing a waterfront development. Paul
Eston, project manager for the development, had discovered evidence of mob involvement and
attempted to send it to a journalist, but management intercepted his message. Paul finds
himself on the run, pursued by hitman John Wacker. It's been years since Wacker killed anyone,
so his skills are a bit rusty. Nevertheless he sets out to find and kill Paul and retrieve a flash
drive containing the evidence.
Paul's family has a shady past. His parents died in a mysterious fire that left Paul scarred, and
his uncle died in a mysterious car crash in Greece. He turns to his cousin John Scalby for help.
A builder involved in the waterside development, John is having serious financial problems. He
owes money to quite a few nasty people. Soon afterward, one of these creditors shoves John
into a container of wet cement, and John's secretary/girlfriend persuades Paul to impersonate
his cousin at a crucial meeting to gain a building permit.
Nearly everyone in A Fair Wack is nasty, violent, and venal. Almost no one is trustworthy. The
brutality of some characters verges on comedy, as when one of John Scalby's creditors bares
his large penis and threatens to bugger Paul (who he thinks is John).
I found it difficult to connect with any of the characters. Paul has noble motives, but he does
inexplicably stupid things like entering the car of a thug who wants to hurt him or getting drunk
with the sleazy secretary/girlfriend. But a deeper reason for my detachment is the objective
third-person point of view. The characters reveal their motives through actions and dialogue, but
sometimes it would help to know what they're thinking.
Trewin also relies too much on dialogue for exposition, which results in clunky exchanges that
seem directed less toward another character than toward readers. The story loses its dramatic
tension while characters recount the history of the Liverpool waterfront.
On the other hand, A Fair Wack creates a memorable sense of place with its descriptions of that
bleak waterfront. The characters, as awful as they are, belong to the landscape. It has shaped
what they are, and now they're caught in absurd, grotesque situations that grow out of their
environment. The joining of characters and place creates the noirish atmosphere of the novel
and the fatalism that goes with it. The question is whether Paul can escape the trap. I only wish
that I cared a bit more.
But if you enjoy atmospheric crime novels, A Fair Wack delivers the goods.
There was adult language & a lot of violence. The slang was difficult to understand.
Paul Eston woke, stiff & sore from sleeping in his car. He's headed to a mine that he was told when he was younger where gangsters buried their victims. He believed it too. He's a whistle blower & hiding out near a mine.He met Oliver Harris who is caretaker for the vacant Stokesley property which included the mine. "He turned and walked down to his car – a red mini covered in large white numbers and stripes. He stopped when he reached the car, and turned. ‘Oh!’ he shouted. ‘And whatever you do, don’t go near that mine. It’s a death trap!’"Paul second-guessed his decision to be a whistle blower. "Throughout your life you developed an ideal conception of your own personality and character, the kind that each man sets up for himself. Secretly. So that you automatically think that you are kind and honourable. But it is usually just wishful thinking. Making it seem better than the cold reality.
"Wacker is the next character to be introduced. He has a cap over his freshly shaved head. He's working with Jimmy aka James Whitaker, who tells him: "The thing is, Wacker, you don’t realise what it’s like. The word “morons” isn’t adequate to describe the Liverpool councillors I come into contact with."
Whitaker wants to become mayor. People call him every thing but James.Wacker's life has changed: "‘Things haven’t been going too well since Betty passed away,’ Wacker said. He looked down at the floor. ‘I’ve been a bit down.’‘The kids have left home?’‘Yeh. Alex is a solicitor in Suffolk and Andrea is a GP in Edinburgh.’‘Doing well, then.’‘Yeh. Now that Betty is gone, I’ve got no family in Liverpool. The house holds too many memories of her. Her clothes. The cat.’‘
The big ginger tom that sits on the wall outside your house?’‘
Lucas. He was Betty’s cat really."
"The fire had died down, though there was still a bed of red hot embers. Wacker scanned the quarry. No-one around. He threw his mobile into the embers, flinching from the blast of heat as he got too close. The mobile blistered, hissed and bubbled for a while, then melted down and disappeared.
"Wacker searched for Eston to stop him from testifying. The language was often difficult to read. It described some of the criminal organization & how it ran. "‘Sefton Park Security? Wasn’t that run by that mad bastard, Jamaica Jim, the feller who killed his wife with a machete?’‘Yeh, not the best publicity, that. Anyhow, profits from those two companies were fed into the property company to, surprise, surprise, buy property. This is where everything becomes legit and all the taxes and National Insurance and that are paid.’"
Link to purchase: http://www.amazon.com/Fair-Wack-Pete-Trewin-ebook/dp/B00K02EXQU