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Condition: Used: Good
Comment: exlibrary hardcover book in mylar jacket with light wear, shows some light reader wear throughout ,all the usual library marks and stamps.
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Josh Whoever (Five Star Mystery Series) Hardcover – March 20, 2013

4.9 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Library Journal Mystery Debut of Month Feb 2013


 VERDICT Guillebeau brings the emotional turmoil of his damaged protagonist to its peak while giving him good reasons to persevere. While the Russian mob, right-wing modern Confederates, and a paramilitary group might seem like overkill, the plot never wavers off-track, and the collection of oddball minor characters and surprise twists deepen an already strong story. An engrossing debut.
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Product Details

  • Series: Five Star Mystery Series
  • Hardcover: 284 pages
  • Publisher: Five Star (March 20, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1432826840
  • ISBN-13: 978-1432826840
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,752,954 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
** I received an ARC from the author. This review was first posted on goodreads.com

I think that what I like most about this twisty, witty crime book is that the main character, Josh, is so completely random. He doesn't fit the stereotype. He's real.

Guillebeau could have written Josh to be Captain America (without the super powers), but he wrote him to be an average guy. Josh was America's poster boy but the propaganda disillusioned the war hero. He walked away to find solace at the bottom of a bottle.

The story opens with Josh running a scam - just to earn enough money to drink himself into oblivion, and Josh gets caught in his lies and drafted to find the Russian mob's princess. The family doesn't know if she's run off or if she's been kidnapped. None of their money or allies are digging up answers.

Josh's training and his need to help people suck him into the case... where fear and money just tempt him. But here's the part that is interesting. Josh isn't Rambo. He isn't MacGyver or Burn Notice's Michael Westen. He has military training, but he's not a crack shot. He's good with disguises and covers, but people see through them. He runs when he should run. He flinches and cries when we would. It makes him relatable and real.

The banter was amusing, the action was crisp. This book was fun. I'm looking forward to a second installment.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a tough book to review not because I didn't love it but because I loved it so much I want to tell you everything. But no spoilers here; I won't deprive you of the wonderful journey of JOSH WHOEVER.

From the cover: "Josh burned out on saving the world years ago. Now he's a small-time con man who wants to stay drunk in the back room of the Western World bar between scams."

No, Josh is no hero yet through a set of circumstances or divine guidance Josh is thrust into the case of the missing daughter from the Russian mob. If he fails he is promised an ugly death. However, it isn't fear of dying that keeps him going but a promise to a grieving mother.

As Josh embarked on his journey to discover the truth behind the girls disappearance he meets a cast of unforgeable characters. Characters Guillebeau brings to life on the page in this story seasoned with naivety and cynicism and the choices we make.

JOSH WHOEVER is a tale of humanity told with humor and sadness and a sense of hope that even the worst of us can achieve perfection, if only for a moment.
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Format: Hardcover
Josh Whoever (Five Star Mystery Series)This book is a fast-paced read with a lot going on. Above all it has action, with cars, guns, and rapid changes of scene, characters, mood. It has paranoid conspiracy elements: A Russian mafia family backed by men in gray uniforms who actually control them as well as controlling--well, you will see. It has crossover points where realism merges into grotesque, over-the-top fantasy, which is not that far from reality after all, our culture being what it is.
The snappy, often comic dialog can lure you into serious thoughts. Big hint: Josh's life is centered in a down-and-outers' bar called Western World run by a seen-it-all old guy called Mayor. In situations ranging from gritty to palatial Josh and his friends work hard not only to fight evil but to sort out a number of issues: bulls*** vs. genuineness, the hatred of money vs. practical necessity, cheap celebrity vs. worthy achievement, the power of violence vs. the efficacy of intelligent negotiation, workable ideals vs. delusions.
A persistent question drives the story: whoever is this guy Josh? After his life of scams, disguises, misadventures, and impulses, can he gather everything together and hammer out an authentic identity?
All these issues end up in a high-suspense thriller episode followed by an even more surprising wrap-up.
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Format: Hardcover
Admittedly, I read a great deal of crime fiction- avoiding cat fiction and stodgy whodunnits at any cost. Whether Scudder, Burke, Nameless, Cole or Lehane's pair, a good character driven story mixed with gritty realism is my book of choice

Suffice it to say, I am now a "Whoever" groupie. And, by some mathematical property (distributive? associative? who can keep that straight after middle school?) that makes me a Guillebeau groupie.

*slight spoiler alert*
From the opening Bank Job (puns intended), the story had rich characters and a plot that kept me hooked. Even a potential little girl lost retelling was vastly superior to much I have read.

For crime and dark fiction fans, consider this a must read.

Please bring Whoever back!
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Format: Hardcover
Mike Guillebeau's "Josh Whoever" is ingenious, fast-paced, fun. Plot, settings and characters are improbable, but I found suspension of my disbelief to be irresistible, and the non-stop action swept me along. Unlike the two-dimensional casts of many action-driven novels, the quirky characters have distinct personalities, and I wound up caring what happened to them.

Josh is an emotionally damaged ex-soldier who alternates extended drunken binges with intermittent stints as a con artist. When a con goes awry, he becomes entangled with a Russian mob family whose daughter/sister is missing, and Josh must find and return her - or else. He embarks on a race through an eclectic mix of helpers and adversaries, sometimes combined in one person. He eventually tracks down the missing heiress, but nothing is quite what it seems and the outcome isn't what Josh or I expected.

This is Guillebeau's first novel. I look forward to many more.
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