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The Take Paperback – August 6, 2013
Texas bookie Eddie Ryan seems to have a knack for making bad decisions. First he gets himself into a hole by taking one-sided action on the World Series, and now he owes his bettors 19 grand, which he doesn’t have. So he borrows it from a loan shark, and when he can’t cover his nut one week, he thinks it would be a good idea to tag along with a buddy and steal a wad of cash from a drug dealer. Well, dontcha know, the job goes bad, and now Eddie could be on the hook for murder. Although it’s difficult to have much sympathy for someone as dumb as Eddie, first-time novelist Dennis does manage to get us invested in his antihero’s predicament. Eddie may be a sort of likable dimwit, but he does seem to have some innate street smarts, and his efforts to extricate himself from his predicament, which take up the bulk of the novel, are entertaining to observe. --David Pitt --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
About the Author
After thirty years as a professional musician (piano), Mike Dennis left Key West and moved to Las Vegas in 2006 to become a professional poker player. He turned to writing when his first novel, THE TAKE, was picked up by a publisher in 2009. His next book, SETUP ON FRONT STREET, was the first of a series of Key West Nocturnes, standalone noir novels. These books will lift the veil on Key West and reveal it as a true noir city, on a par with Los Angeles, New Orleans, or Miami. THE GHOSTS OF HAVANA is the second book in that set. The third, MAN-SLAUGHTER, is now available, and the fourth, THE GUNS OF MIAMI, will be coming in 2013. Mike has also introduced the Jack Barnett/Las Vegas series, about a reluctant ex-private investigator living in Sin City, USA. The first entry in that series, a novelette called TEMPTATION TOWN, is now available. The second installment, HARD CASH, also a novelette, is currently available, as is the third entry, a full novel called THE DOWNTOWN DEAL. Mike also has a collection of short stories, Bloodstains On The Wall. In addition, his stories have been published in A Twist Of Noir, Mysterical e, Powder Burn Flash, Slow Trains, and The Wizards Of Words 2009 Anthology. In addition, Mike has an experimental rockabilly novel called CADILLAC'S COMIN', a hard tale of a one-hit wonder who recorded for Sun Records in the chaotic early days of rock & roll. In late 2010, Mike moved back to Key West, where he enjoys year-round island living with his wife Yleana, whom he married on a warm December night in 2012 on the rooftop of an apartment building in Havana, Cuba.
Top customer reviews
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You keep thinking, what if it had been me? Would I have done that? Would she stay with me? Whoa, that is a LOT of money and it might work.
And then some of the bad guys get what's coming to them. And that is satisfying. But not all of them.
A real page turner that makes you want to go out, sip a drink at the Louis Philippe hotel bar, and soak in the people and the games being played.
And like the best of noir writing, it is a dark morality play.
The writing is tight and spare, with hardly an ounce of fat on this sucker, and the characters are well drawn and believable. The plot? Simple yet clever in a way that holds your interest throughout, and though there are lulls, they're never enough to lose the reader. In short, this book kicks some serious [...]. Buy it now and read it. You won't be disappointed.
Mike paints a vivid picture of the seedier side of life in Houston and New Orleans with great attention to detail and his transitions are effective in keeping all aspects of the story flowing well.
I couldn't put it down and turn off the light till the last page. I wanted more.... as we all want a piece of Mike Ryans dream for ourselves.
From the synopsis above, it should be apparent that Eddie Ryan is a self-destructive protagonist. I'll often not find this type of character sympatric, yet Eddie was different. He took a bit of a gamble, let's call it a risk instead, just as any businessperson might. All his actions after that are a matter of doing what he thinks he must to survive.
Eddie's adventures will keep you on edge as he struggles to survive as you both try to decide whom he should trust. Whether he will escape and what price Eddie will have to pay is unclear until the end. Fan's of Elmore Leonard should find Mike Dennis an author worth watching - and worth reading.
**Originally written for "Books and Pals" book blog.**
Most recent customer reviews
Great dialogue, crisp and real.Read more