The Deputy by Victor Gischler
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
All part-time deputy Toby Sawyer had to do was keep an eye on Luke Jordan's body. Now the corpse has vanished and people are coming out of the woodwork to put a bullet in Toby's head. Can Toby survive the night with his job and his life intact?
When I got my metric ton of free books at Bouchercon, Kemper mentioned that Victor Gischler was a good writer seconds before he went into his tantrum that I scored a free John Sandford. I have to say that that was one of many occasions when that curmudgeonly Kansan pointed me in the right direction.
Toby Sawyer's a screw-up, no two ways about it. He shows up to the crime scene wearing sweat pants and a Weezer tshirt with his badge pinned to it, wondering how he can wear his holster without his sweat pants falling down. That pretty much sums up his character. He lives in a trailer with his wife and infant son, has a girlfriend on the side, and doesn't have a lot going for him. It took me a little while but I really started getting behind Toby as he slowly stepped up and gifted the wrong-doers with hot lead.
Since The Deputy is told from the first person, I was as in the dark as Toby for most of the book. Tensions ran higher and higher the deeper I got into the book. So much shit gets piled on top of Toby that I didn't think he'd be able to dig his way out. The breakneck pace reminds me of The Wheelman quite a bit. Every time it looks like Toby's going to get a chance to rest, more bad guys come crawling out of the woodwork.
I can't really say much about the plot without ruining the book. It's well done but, like I said, I was in the dark as much as Toby was for most of the book.
The Deputy is a great example of modern day noir. It's not a perfect book by any means but it's an exciting way to spend a few hours. It's an easy four star book.
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