Saturday, July 24, 2021

47. The Backup Men by Ross Thomas

The Porkchoppers is probably somewhere in my top 100 favourite books and I generally love the design of Ross Thomas's paperbacks, but I have to admit not loving the rest of his actual books that much.  He usually has a group of interesting characters and creative crime situations in cool locations that reflect the time well.  He has a tendency, though, to write in a simplistic, American macho style that lacks subtlety and makes said characters seem kind of annoying and trying way too hard.  In the end, it doesn't ruin the story for me, but I will only pick up his books if I find them for free and they look cool, as was the case with this copy of The Backup Men that I found in the free shelf.

McCorkle is the narrator as usual.  This time after some overly complex confrontations involving past relationships, they end up working on a job to protect a soon-to-be king of a new oil-rich middle-eastern country.  He is the last remaining heir to the throne and has to sign some papers which will make him the king and give a big deal to some oil companies.  A smart but gotten old assassin has hired a young killer and the two of them are trying to take the king out.  These are all connected to Padillo's past.  I am not sure if they actually do show up in other books or if they are just dragged out to make a plot, but it all felt a bit convoluted.  There was some decent action but nothing in it really seemed to matter to me.  I would give it an okay.  You can feel that the critic at the New Yorker is really trying hard with this blurb.

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