- Paperback: 282 pages
- Publisher: Capital Crime Press (July 1, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0977627667
- ISBN-13: 978-0977627660
- Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.9 x 0.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,161,148 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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47 Rules of Highly Effective Bank Robbers Paperback – July 1, 2006
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Tara and her father have a very unusual relationship: they rob banks together and have been doing so since Tara was a girl. But she is grown up now, and she'd rather do something else--except that dear old Dad, dear old homicidal-maniac Dad, is having some serious separation anxiety. To make matters worse, the duo is on the lam from the cops (and from some nasty former partners in crime), and Tara is developing a crush on a lawman's son. Recommend this intriguing first mystery to readers who enjoy the comic capers novels of Hiaasen, Leonard, and Westlake. David Pitt
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A stunning debut. Cook's novel will make you think someone transported Carl Hiaasen to the desert Southwest. --Steve Brewer, author of "Bank Job"
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Top Customer Reviews
Needless to say, the exploits of this criminal duo have attracted a certain amount of attention. As might be expected, they are being hunted by a couple of FBI agents. Special Agent Stratton is -- well, thick, and he owes the fact that he is in charge of the Houston office to his politically-connected father, Senator Stratton. He is assisted (tolerated would be more accurate) by Special Agent Dawkins, an African-American who suffers Stratton's incessant insults and racial slurs, biding his time and hoping for his moment of revenge.
Complicating things, a couple of Wyatt's ex-partners have also taken an interest in his bank-robbing spree. Small-time hoods Pete Woods and his Indian sidekick, Bull, are set on relieving the successful team of their ill-gotten gains. Given that Wyatt's a psychopath with a long memory, that's probably a bad move.
Enter Max Williams, a young man of promise, struggling to define himself in the arid culture of small-town America. When he and Tara meet, it is love (and lust) at first sight. Only problem is, Wyatt takes an instant dislike to Max; and that, coupled with Tara's er, nontraditional occupation, presents a challenge for Max.
That, and the fact that Max's dad is the local sheriff.
Cook's background is in films, and it shows: the story reads like a film script. With the emphasis on fast-paced action and snappy dialogue, 47 Rules would make a great summer movie. It has strong, original characters, some of them engaging despite their occupations and occasional character flaws. Necessarily graphic, with strong language that is always in service of the plot, the story is full of twists and turns, and leavened by Cook's incessant (and unfailingly dark) humor. It is a fine debut tale, and a rollicking, rowdy romp that will provide hours of enjoyment.
But, as I say, maybe that's all just me. Or maybe I was in the wrong mood when I opened Troy Cook's debut novel. Let me tell you first what I like about this novel. It's fast paced. The writing runs at a high energy level from the first page to the last. Some of the characters are interesting to read about, although I'm not sure I want to spend a lot of time with any of them. Watching their antics, from across the street, sure.
Tara is the principal focus of this novel. She's nine when the book opens, although she talks like a child of twenty, and she's already had the experiences of a thirty-year old bank robber. Her daddy has taught her the trade. Then he hooks up with some other criminal types and they breeze around shooting up a few more banks. Tara wants out, especially after bodies start falling. And especially after she encounters Max, who is especially smitten. Dialogue is mostly breezy and mostly effective, and the novel established strong marks as part of a new sub-genre, pell-mell.
There are a lot of characters in the novel, along with a lot of words in capital letters, to make sure readers get the point, I presume. Same for the exclamation marks. I think it is extremely difficult to write a whole long novel with manic high humor as its motivating core. And like its title, this novel has too many words.
When 9 year old Tara's mother dies, her father begins to train her in his career field, in the art of robbing banks. Her first attempt at intimidating bank guards ends when she misses her shot and shoots her father in the foot. But after that she becomes an accomplished and successful partner with her father for many years of bank heists. But at age 23 she wonders if this is enough, no friends, no permanent place to live and, most of all, no social life. And as her father becomes more and more out of control and shooting innocent people becomes common (in spite of "Rule #16 Change your MO about as often as you change your underwear.") Tara is feeling that maybe it is time for a career change. Scoping out their latest bank job leads Tara and her father to a small, rural Arizona town (Rule #6- Only rob banks in the sticks.) . There Tara meets Max, the wayward son of the local sheriff, and it is instant attraction. After the bank robbing follows the pattern of blood and death, Tara decides it is time to leave her father. But with a unforgiving, psychopathic father, this is not going to be easy. Bonnie and Clyde had it easy compared to these two. Tara and Max flee but followed by Wyatt who is pursued by ex-partners, the sheriff and the FBI.
47 Rules of Highly Effective Bank Robbers is a great, sprawling adventure. With his tongue firmly planted in his cheek, Troy Cook has written a fun, action filled story of a family gone wrong. He is able to win the readers' affection for the most motley bunch of characters ever put down in one story. Who can not sympathize with poor Tara, the good daughter who is only doing what daddy taught her to do? Cook keeps the action anchored with the clever use of the 47 Rules and the tape recorded riffs of Max. His background in the movie business is evident in his ability to keep the action moving between scenes in the present and past to form a whole.
This first novel should be on all crime, mystery or humor lover's list of summer reads. It is a creative debut of a talented new fiction writer. In a genre packed full of entries, this work needs to be recognized as a ground breaking use of humorous situations combined with strong, sympathetic characters encased in a crime thriller.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Tara Evans' father raised her from the age of nine until she became a young woman.Read more