Gun Work by David J. Schow
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Barney is a seemingly ordinary guy working at a shooting range with a violent past. One day, Barney gets a call from an old army buddy, Carl Ledbetter, and ends up going with Carl to Mexico to rescue his kidnapped girlfriend. Only nothing is as it seems and after a while, Barney has a whole lot of people to kill...
I was on the fence about what to rate this one. On one hand, it's an action packed story, almost a modern day western at times. The kidnapping ring were a good set of villains but weren't cartoonishly evil. The addition of the luchadores was odd but worked well to keep the plot going. Mano was a good supporting character. The torture scenes were gruesome and you can't wait until Barney gets his vengeance. It almost feels like a movie once Barney finally goes on the warpath.
On the other hand, it was way too long for what it was. The guns are described in lavish detail and the story could have been seventy five pages shorter if Schow would have controlled his gun lust. Someone who's really into guns might enjoy the constant gun descriptions but I grew tired of them. The tale was also pretty linear, aside from the initial twist and the one near the end that was fairly obvious.
Gun Work isn't a bad book and I even enjoyed it at times. It's just firmly in the meh zone as far as Hard Case books are concerned. I'll give it a 2.5 but not a 3.
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