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Shank: Tool's Law I Paperback – May 24, 2016
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This guy is a born storyteller! An auspicious debut, by Parchman inmate Roy Harper, Shank, signals a voice that, if there's any justice, we should hear more of. As an ex-con myself, Harper has done our small tribe proud, and I am pleased to add my praise to a novel that rang true on every page.
Les Edgerton, Author, The Bitch, The Rapist, The Genuine Imitation Plastic Kidnapping, Bomb! and others.
With imagination and research a good crime writer can convince you that you are almost anywhere in the world, at any point in history. That's the nature of the job. For sheer first-hand authenticity, however, no-one is going to be challenging Roy Harper's account of life in an American jail anytime soon.
Crime Fiction Lover
About the Author
Roy Harper has been incarcerated since 1981 for armed robbery. Originally from Arizona, the 57 year old author now speaks with a southern accent, the result of his long stint in a Mississippi prison. Harper gained nationwide notoriety for two highly publicized escapes from a maximum security prison and subsequent high speed car chases and police shoot-outs in 1983 and 2000. For the past fifteen years he has been campaigning in US courts to reduce brutality and injustice in American jails.
Top customer reviews
Roy Harper adds a strong voice to the world of gritty crime fiction. Like Edward Bunker and Les Edgerton, Roy Harper is an authority on prison fiction. He also captures the rural world of Mississippi, Tennessee, and Kentucky in vivid detail. Shank is a refreshing and compelling page turner. It is also one that will give you pause to think about the implications of one man having physical authority over another. While prisons may be necessary in today's society, we all own how our fellow humans are treated. This one will make you stop and think. Highly recommended.
As for the story itself, it begins simple enough. Dave Roney (a.k.a. “Tool”) takes a shower and when he returns to his stall, he notices that someone has tampered with his locker, taking the one thing that has value to him--a cross pendant that is sentimental because it’s the only link to his family.
Frustrated at the loss, he asks his stall mate Rolly if the inmate he suspects that did it is indeed the thief. Rolly confirms this suspicion that it was “Ten” with a nod, so Dave gets his shank out of hiding and decides to get the cross back. The results, action packed and brutal—get him the cross but there is a price to pay: 11 years in the hole and another twenty years added on to his life sentence.
With this prison sentence in mind, it’s easy to see why he’s so obsessed with escape. And escape he does.
This novel is action packed with the main character suffering from “convict mentality,” and this works well since the character is a convict. He meets a woman, and a little love enters the picture. Can love squash his hatred and desire for revenge…is it enough?
A fresh and original crime novel…written by an actual criminal.
I recommend reading this book. Fans of Edward Bunker and Jimmy Pudge in particular will enjoy this one. Good character development and a page-turning plot. I look forward to future novels by Roy Harper.
Hard to believe this is Mr. Harper’s first novel. He can’t have had very much formal education since he has been a career criminal his entire adult life and has spent very little time outside a cage. Yet Mr. Harper’s story unfolds with the skill and polish of a best-selling author. Just about any crime fiction writer active today would be proud to have penned such a story.
I salute Mr. Harper’s perseverance since he had to write his page turner by hand, surreptitiously and without access to writing materials, and in secret get the manuscript to and find a publisher for his novel. Against all odds he was successful.
I am pretty certain from the way this book ends, there will be another follow-up book to look forward to, and I can’t wait till I can devour it just as I did Shank. Bravo Roy Harper!
I can’t imagine any reader not enjoying this book and I heartily recommend it.
Most recent customer reviews
BOOK I / THE PENDANT
Roy Harper is a natural story teller as the opening chapter...Read more