Monday, March 08, 2010

Mystery Book Review: Let It Ride by John McFetridge

Mysterious Reviews, mysteries reviewed by the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books, is publishing a new review of Let It Ride by John McFetridge. For our blog readers, we are printing it first here in advance of its publication on our website.

Let It Ride by John McFetridge


St. Martin's Minotaur (Hardcover)
ISBN-10: 0-312-59948-X (031259948X)
ISBN-13: 978-0-312-59948-5 (9780312599485)
Publication Date: February 2010
List Price: $24.99

Review: Crime and criminals north of the border are the subjects of a twisted caper-style plot in Let It Ride, a stand-alone thriller by John McFetridge.

Former Armed Forces Sergeant Vernard "Get" McGetty travels from Detroit to Toronto to meet with the leader of the Saints of Hall in an effort to expand his network of illicit cocaine trafficking. But another opporunity -- possibly far more lucrative -- presents itself when he meets up with Sunitha Suraiya, who has plans to take on the Saints for what are believed to be millions in gold bullion they have in their possession. Separately, Toronto cops Maureen McKeon and her partner Andre Price are trailing them, albeit on a completely separate path, that starts with the seemingly random shooting of a husband and wife in their car while they were on their way home.

Let It Ride isn't so much convoluted -- which, to be sure, it is -- as it is cluttered. In the first chapter alone, stories are told from four points of view (though, to be honest, it isn't obvious why one is called "Price and McKeon" and another "McKeon and Price", so maybe they shouldn't be counted as two); another three are introduced in the second chapter, with a half-a-dozen or so more popping up in later chapters. The primary plotline is rather interesting, and could have been compelling, but there's so much going on from each character's perspective that, at times, it's hard to stay engaged. The author is clearly taking an unusual stylistic noir-ish approach to the narrative here; for some it may appear to be innovative or exciting, but for many readers, it's likely to get very tedious very quickly and be something of a chore to complete, hardly the feature of a recommended novel.

Special thanks to St. Martin's Minotaur for providing a copy of Let It Ride for this review.

Review Copyright © 2010 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved

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Synopsis (from the publisher): Vernard "Get" McGetty is back from serving in Afghanistan, back dealing drugs in Detroit and looking to move up with his buddy JT, a guy he met in Kandahar who also happens to be the leader of the Saints of Hell—a notorious Ontario biker gang currently in the process of taking over all North of the border drug traffic. Commuting weekly across the line into the center of JT’s high flying empire, Get hooks up with Sunitha, a decidedly independent woman who’s gone from working seedy massage parlors to robbing them at gunpoint—and has dreams of a much bigger score: taking the Saints for the millions they have stashed in gold bars. Meanwhile, the Toronto cops have the Saints under a microscope. Detectives Price and McKeon are getting nowhere with a double drive-by killing on the Gardiner Expressway—a husband and wife returning from a swingers party—and the investigation keeps leading back to the Saints …

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Lance Wright owns and manages Omnimystery, a Family of Mystery Websites, which had its origin as Hidden Staircase Mystery Books in 1986. As the scope of the business expanded, first into book reviews — Mysterious Reviews — and later into information for and reviews of mystery and suspense television and film, all sites were consolidated under the Omnimystery brand in 2006.

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