Skip to main content

TRUST ME - Review

TRUST ME is the second novel from Peter Leonard. Second books are important to me. I don't 'trust' first books as an indicator of anything. Unintentional pun aside, good or bad the first book is not trustworthy. The second book is where an author needs to prove their meddle as it was likely written under a much shorter time-line than the first with the sole purpose of proving that stellar first book was no fluke. Or the reverse that the first book was not as bad as everyone said it was. So having not read Mr. Leonard's first book, QUIVER, I feel a little safer in my own personal belief that TRUST ME will be a truer gauge of Mr. Leonard's talent.

TRUST ME mines that time honored caveat of Crime Fiction; Criminals are stupid. And it is from here that there is a lot of really great stupid criminal behavior that provides TRUST ME with many enjoyable moments. If taken just on that TRUST ME is a pretty good one. It usually begs the question; How do these idiots organize getting out bed every morning let alone a criminal enterprise? The answer is simple. Criminals are savants when it comes to creating suffering in others.

Karen is a morally challenged woman who has made the foolish mistake, one of more than a few in her life, in giving her boyfriend her $300,000 nest egg. 'Love' is not forever, and now Karen wants her money back. But the boyfriend, Samir, is not stupid enough to do that. Karen recruits a couple dullards to help out with a plan to heist the money back from Samir. The heist goes suitably pear shaped, and soon Karen is on the run from everyone. Most importantly Karen is on the run from O'Clair. And while Karen's other pursuers are cruel simpletons the ex-cop, O'Clair, is Karen's biggest threat. And much like Karen, O'Clair is not really a bad guy. But mix in a few bad decisions and some suspect judgment and you have two characters who are staring down the barrel of a life gone wrong.

The real skill here is how Mr. Leonard sets up Karen and O'Clair as morally selfish characters early on, but then spends the remainder of the book tearing down his own construction. I guess this is what you call character development, but eventually you root for both in their mutually opposing goals. Still TRUST ME is best when it is running its characters through its briskly plotted story. If one can write believably in this merry-go-round of a crime thriller than Mr. Leonard has a genuine talent for action writing, in the sense that as a reader I was never lost in the business of TRUST ME.

As I said in the beginning, first books are troublesome creations. But this is what I know after reading TRUST ME. One, I can pick up a copy of QUIVER free of worry about Mr. Leonard's talent. And two, I will look forward to a long line of works exploring the crime fiction world of Peter Leonard.


Popular posts from this blog

The Very Best of Mr. Dennis Lehane

I thought this post would appear in October. Ya, know when SHUTTER ISLAND: THE MOVIE was supposed to be released. And then it wasn't. Something about Leo not being able to do 'press' for the movie. Doesn't really matter the reason, a February release date has one of those fancy Hollywood meanings: Not Good.

Look I'll be honest, I didn't connect with SHUTTER ISLAND. I loved the fifties setting, the haunted house atmosphere, and impending doom of the Hurricane. Even the set-up of the story was intriguing but how it played out just didn't work for me. Some interesting characters, a bunch of great set pieces, but the ending announces itself with an expected, thud that went nowhere.

Am I still going to the movie? Its Lehane, Scorsese, Leo, and Ruffalo of course I am. Anyway the list.

8. Prayers for Rain - 1999
The last Kenzie-Gennaro book follows our heroes as they investigate a guy who is terrorizing women into committing suicide. The book played like an episode o…

The Very Best of Mr. Michael Connelly - Part I

I was about 50 pages into the latest Michael Connelly book, THE SCARECROW, when I flipped to the front. This is the 20th novel. I decided that rather than write a review of the novel, pretty good by the way, I would write a think piece about the relationship between a highly regarded crime novelist and how reader's take for granted the author if the high standard to which they have become accustomed to is not maintained over a lengthy run of books.

This idea was quickly abandoned out of laziness. Instead, I decided to take a cue from my friend, Peter, who recently ranked all of the James Bond films. I didn't feel I could tackle all 20 novels so the list below is just the non-Harry Bosch books. Mr. Connelly's next book 9 DRAGONS releases in October so don't be surprised to see a Bosch only list then.

I wrote this list up a couple weeks ago. I have given it some time to marinate. I did make any changes but I do want to say that there is a definite break between ranking 5…

Live By Night: First Image

First image from Live By Night the latest Dennis Lehane novel to be directed by Ben Affleck has appeared. Here is the accompanying article from Indiewire.
What can you say about one singular image from a film that will include a hundred thousand or so? It looks good. I'm a sucker for big fields of grass, what can I say? I have enjoyed all of Ben Affleck's directing efforts to date, even if I wasn't wowed by any of them. I don't mean to damn him with faint praise. He is a solid, unpretentious director of capital m 'Movies'. And even if he wasn't making the best thing Dennis Lehane has written in the last ten years I would still go see his next effort.
The movie is slated for a 2017 release which I'm not certain should be believed. In spite of the film already vacating a Fall 2016 date, if the movie is even kind of  good, dollars to donuts it sneaks into a late 2016 release for Award show consideration. A 2017 release date seems more accurate, if early t…