William Morrow an Imprint of HarperCollins
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2009 Dashiell Hammett Award FInalist
The opening scenes may give crime thriller readers a sense of dejavu, however, once Charles “Shake” Bouchon is released from prison, author Lou Berney takes the wheel and makes this his story. Gutshot Straight is full of surprises and lots of pop culture references that make this an exciting read, with just enough tongue in cheek humor to put a smile on your face, just before the action takes your heart rate through the roof!
A three year stint in prison for grand theft auto has taught Bouchon just enough to get him into a heck of a lot of trouble. An all too simple errand that sounds too easy and too good to be true – takes the idea of one last job before adhering to a crime free life to a whole new level. It all sounded so easy.. delivering a package and retrieving a brief case. The first indication that this wasn’t the drop and go Bouchon signed up for was when he was introduced to “The package” …a pretty, young housewife named Gina.
But like everything else tied to this “job” all is not what it seems with Gina either.
Being a nice guy, Bouchon can’t bare the idea of what will happen to the attractive, young housewife IF he turns her over to the four hundred plus pound Vegas Strip Club Owner, known as “The Whale.” So, having more heart than brain, Bouchon opts to set the lady free, forgiving her of whatever debt her bonehead husband owes The Whale. However, Dick Moby isn’t quite so understanding and Bouchon’s good deed will NOT go unpunished!
These are characters that will stay with you long after the book has been returned to the shelf. Memorable scenes, emotional drama and heart pounding action make Gutshot Straight a sure-fire hit! Vegas odds just got more deadly than anyone could have imagined! Roll the dice if you dare, but don’t miss this one!
What others are saying:
"An exciting read you can’t put down. A definite must read." (Abraham Rodriguez, 2009 Dashiell Hammett Award finalist and author of South by South Bronx )
"GUTSHOT STRAIGHT has my vote for, among other things, Best McGuffin Ever. Just when you think it can’t get any weirder or quirkier, here comes the scene where… well, I better not give that away. Energetic, droll, and wheezingly funny." (Stephen Harrigan, New York Times bestselling author of Gates of the Alamo and Challenger Park )
"Virtually every character is memorable, and the chemistry between Shake and Gina is brilliant. The plot turns are constant, and the dialogue is sharp. The bad guys are wonderfully scary, and the locales are vividly drawn. Elmore Leonard might be very pleased to call GUTSHOT STRAIGHT his own." (Booklist (starred review) )
"(A) fast-moving caper.smoothly blends humor, action and romantic frisson." (Publishers Weekly )
"A literary sucker punch — surprising, funny, effervescent. It’s a cocktail that won’t let you off your barstool till closing." (Ted Griffin, screenwriter of OCEAN’S ELEVEN, MATCHSTICK MEN and BEST LAID PLANS )
A crime caper in the tradition of Elmore Leonard and Carl Hiaasen, this fast and funny debut is the story of "Shake" Bouchon, fresh out of prison and ready for life on the straight and narrow—well, maybe after *one* last job. . . .
When Charles "Shake" Bouchon, professional wheel man, walks out of prison after a three-year stretch for grand theft auto, he’s got only two problems: he’s too nice a guy for the life he’s led and not nice enough for any other.
So he says yes when he’s asked to run a simple errand for his former boss and lover, Alexandra Ilandryan, the formidable pakhan of the Armenian mob in Los Angeles. All Shake has to do is deliver a package to Las Vegas and pick up a briefcase.
Only the package turns out to be a wholesome young housewife named Gina whose husband has run afoul of Dick Moby, aka "The Whale," an unpleasant four-hundred-pound Vegas strip-club owner. Shake hates to think what’s going to happen to Gina when he delivers her to The Whale, so in a move that’s as noble as it is boneheaded, he decides to set her free.
Now Shake and Gina are on the run to Panama, hoping to unload the very valuable—and highly unusual—contents of The Whale’s briefcase. Shake could end up a rich man, but first he’ll have to outmaneuver two angry crime bosses, a murderous Armenian thug plagued by erectile superfunction, a former pro football player who blames Shake for his romantic woes, and a billionaire swindler with a flair for the theatrical. Not to mention, and not the least, Shake will need to survive his own heart, since he’s going to discover that wholesome housewife Gina is even more intriguing, and a lot more complicated, than he ever imagined.
Full of blindsided double-crosses and hard shots to the head, Gutshot Straight is a tale of love, luck, and larceny against the odds.