- Paperback: 240 pages
- Publisher: Vintage Crime/Black Lizard (December 6, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 037571359X
- ISBN-13: 978-0375713590
- Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.6 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #692,443 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Son of Fletch Paperback – December 6, 2005
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From Publishers Weekly
Despite a couple of shaky plot turns, readers will gladly succumb to McDonald's laconic wit and smooth pacing in this 10th entry in the Fletch series. Ex-reporter Irwin Maurice Fletcher--just Fletch, please--is in semi-retirement in Tennessee where, after three marriages, he has settled in with Carrie, a plainspoken "Southern country woman." One dark and stormy night (yes!), Fletch's heretofore unknown son, Jack, arrives, accompanied by a South African killer, a kidnapper and a drug dealer who escaped from federal prison with him. Beguiled by 20-ish Jack, Fletch is soon effectively in charge of getting the escapees away from the cops and in to Alabama where a group of white supremacists have encamped to await their leader, the killer. Although in looks and manners, Jack surely has not fallen far from the paternal tree, Fletch still seeks proof of their relationship, but is soon more worried about the dangers awaiting the young man in the camp. Fletch wins the day in great style as the supremacists, cartoonish screw-ups barely capable of organizing a beer blast, mainly self-destruct. Fletch, Carrie and the enterprising Jack, however, are all fully dimensioned characters who rate readers' attention and applause. Mystery Guild alternate.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Kirkus Reviews
Back for his first adventure since Fletch Too (1986), the irrepressible reporter/detective comes home with his latest squeeze, Carrie, to his Tennessee homestead to find four escaped convicts in residence--one of them identifying himself as Jack Fletch Faoni, Fletch's long-lost--well, unsuspected--son. It would be too easy to just turn these guys in, so Fletch gives Jack a loaded gun, plays along with him, and lands up to his neck in an Alabama camp of white- supremacist crazies. But wait! Is Jack really Fletch, Jr.? A few of Fletch's trademark phone calls reveal that no Jack Faoni has ever served time in the federal pen, and that Crystal Faoni's son is spending the summer in Greece.... More boisterous high jinks than mystery, like a class reunion of stand-up guys resting on their rsums. Even so: welcome back, Fletch. -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
In eleven novels in the series, one of them was bound to start off like this, in a sense. Like most in the Fletch series, the story is off like a shot from the beginning, but then just a tad into the first act there's another huge plot point (suggested by the title of the book) or known by the close reader who remembers Crystal Faoni who was a major (large?) character from Fletch's Fortune.
I don't know that I believed the convicts just taking Fletch's word for where to hide out at the time, in part because the character development to make it plausible didn't come until later. There was also a plot point involving the sheriff that I saw coming from a mile away that could/should have been much more subtle for a bigger surprise when it was revealed.
My biggest problem was that after some great build up I was expecting something really big or interesting from either Fletch or his son to close out the whole story. Sadly the end of the plot devolved in too quick and short a manner for a really satisfying pay off.
Of all of the Fletch books, so far this one seems to be the biggest influencer for the creation of portions of the movie Fletch Lives, which was otherwise made out of whole cloth based on the character. In some sense Cleavon Little's character "Calculus Entropy" replaced Fletch's son and big parts of the plot were heavily rewritten purely for entertainment's sake.
Of all of the books which mention the seemingly ever-present Edward Arthur Tharp, Jr., this one seems to have more detail about it, particularly as in this story the book has finally been finished and it becomes a method by which Fletch and his son seem to probe each other about it. Oddly there was no mention or parallel between Fletch's own mother as a writer and his having become a writer.
Fletch's girlfriend in this piece serves as pure plot and didn't feel as multi-dimensional as she should have been given her role in the piece. She does serve well as the "better angel" as well as the gut reaction most readers will also be feeling through the story. But as always, one must just "trust" Fletch and his plan of where he's going, even if he's not sure himself.
Fletch himself seems to be much the same as we remember him, though I really wonder how and why he seems to have settled down into small town Tennessee life. Descriptions in the book make it sound like he's still a man of the world, but somehow interesting people come to him instead of him going to see them. None of this really fits into the bigger character to me, but the story continues as if it doesn't matter anyway.
Fletch's son plays things very close to the vest, so his motivations and character aren't really developed until much later in the piece, but in some sense he's at least differentiated well enough from Fletch to be his "own man" here.
I liked that even the racists here were given some well done characterization so that despite their beliefs that one could actually feel bad for them in some sense. I will say it was relatively interesting to read in the timeperiod of the 2016 presidential election.
Summary: Overall this was a middle-of-the-road Fletch installment. (But still ranks relatively high on the mystery/suspense/detective genres). I suspect that it would have been more interesting to Fletch fans who hadn't had an installment in a few years based on the time it was released. For a potential reboot of the series, or for kicking off a new series, it wasn't a bad effort.
Fletch discovers a son from a one-night stand who lands him in the middle of a cult/fanatic military unit who are bent on world supremacy and racial cleansing.
This is one that takes some hard reading between the lines, but doesn't demand that the reader stop having fun with the ridiculous.
Nash Black, author of SINS OF THE FATHERS.
The attempt is there, but the book just doesn't work for me. The beginning requires way too much suspension of disbelief, and the whole thing rather reeks of contrived effort. Also (and this is a minor gripe) this is probably the first Fletch book where he doesn't try to solve a murder. Still, it had a few chuckles and other aspects we've come to expect from the author.
Didn't love it, didn't hate it.