by Alex Ness
By Mike Baron
March 12th 2013
by Airship 27
Published September 20 2016 by Liberty Island
Review copy provided by Author
I am a fan of Mike Baron's comic book work, but this was my first go at his prose. I should start by saying that this book is about Motorcycle rider culture as much as it is a straight forward tale. As such I cannot speak to the authenticity of the experience. I am not a biker, have never driven one, and have only been on a motorcycle the last time 1985.
FROM THE PUBLISHER
Josh Pratt is an ex-con turned private investigator. Ginger
Munz, a woman dying of cancer hires him to find the son she lost as a
baby. The child’s father is a sadistic sociopath named Moon who has
vowed to kill her, and Josh’s girlfriend Cass, for ratting him out. The
trail leads to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally and west into a no-man’s
land where Josh learns the monstrous fate of the stolen child."
It could be argued that any book about motorcycles and the culture around them will follow certain conventions. The tough guy with a good streak, the bad guys who can't be trusted, the road's ability to crush souls of the weak...
I am actually happy to say that this work is exciting, mostly free of cliche, and felt fresh and interesting. The main character feels real, and is likeable, the people in the book feel real as well, when it would be much easier to paint with stereotypes and cliché. There is a sex scene, which is well done, and, oddly discreet. There is a flow of dialogue through the work that sounds like life. He doesn't trim the work to fit the scene, he makes scenes that feel like they might happen, at the same time as the conversations sound accurate.
The pacing of the story is rather fully charged. The only portions of the book that don't feel real is the secondary cast and officers of the law. But if taken as a whole I liked almost everything, it was time I am happy to have spent, and it felt like there will need to be sequels.
Any fan of action fiction would like this, I believe. It is a scary ride, along with a subtle humor. Good stuff maynard.