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Monday, September 3, 2012

Lucky Bastard by S.G. Browne

Lucky Bastard by S.G. Browne
Publisher: Gallery Books
Genre: Suspense/Mystery, Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Full Length (358 pgs)
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Stephantois

Meet Nick Monday: a private detective who’s more Columbo than Sam Spade, more Magnum P.I. than Philip Marlowe. As San Francisco’s infamous luck poacher, Nick doesn’t know whether his ability to swipe other people’s fortunes with a simple handshake is a blessing or a curse. Ever since his youth, Nick has swallowed more than a few bitter truths when it comes to wheeling and dealing in destinies. Because whether the highest bidders of Nick’s serendipitous booty are celebrities, yuppies, or douche bag vegans, the unsavory fact remains: luck is the most powerful, addictive, and dangerous drug of them all. And no amount of cappuccinos, Lucky Charms, or apple fritters can sweeten the notion that Nick might be exactly what his father once claimed—as ambitious as a fart.

That is, until Tuesday Knight, the curvy brunette who also happens to be the mayor’s daughter, approaches Nick with an irresistible offer: $100,000 to retrieve her father’s stolen luck. Could this high-stakes deal let Nick do right? Or will kowtowing to another greedmonger’s demands simply fund Nick’s addiction to corporate coffee bars while his morality drains down the toilet? Before he downs his next mocha, Nick finds himself at the mercy of a Chinese mafia kingpin and with no choice but to scour the city for the purest kind of luck, a hunt more titillating than softcore porn. All he has to do to stay ahead of the game is remember that you can’t take something from someone without eventually paying like hell for it. . .

As a huge fan of mysteries featuring private investigators, I was eager to read this story. I dived into it thinking that it would be a traditional read but was pleasantly surprised when it took a different turn.

Yes, it is about a private eye going about his work, but it’s got a quirky paranormal element thrown in and I think that’s what makes it an appealing read. Mr. Browne did a wonderful job taking the everyday and giving it a unique twist. Not just a different feel, but he threw in something strange like stealing someone else’s luck. It has some very funny scenes and I loved the narrator’s voice which is the main character telling the story in the first person, present tense. The background information on his life, his family, and how he came to steal luck from others was cleverly weaved into the tale.

It’s peppered with some interesting characters, while a few of them were slightly clich├ęd, others were pure delight. The dialogue is snappy, even zingy with one-liners and come-backs that had me laughing out loud at times. At 358 pages I expected this to feel like a longer read but was surprised when I’d reached the end and hadn’t noticed how fast I’d gotten through it.

Lucky Bastard won’t be for every die hard PI mystery fan, but if you’re looking for something a little different, this is one to put on your to read list.

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