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by Troy Cook
Capital Crime Press, July 2006
282 pages
ISBN: 0977627667

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

I'm not quite sure how you categorise Troy Cook's debut novel 47 RULES OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE BANK ROBBERS, but hey, who cares . . . It's a cracking good read.

Yes, it's faintly ludicrous, with some crazy characters, but that's the fun. If you like Carl Hiassen and Steve Brewer, you'll enjoy this caper, which has energy and pizzazz. Cook, who can write crackling dialogue and tell a damn good yarn, keeps it just this side of the reader being afflicted with the dreaded rolling eyes syndrome!

Dwayne Evans is a barking mad bank robber, with an opinion on everything under the sun, and the man behind the said 47 rules . . . He also has a pretty daughter Tara, who's been accompanying him on heists since the age of nine. But she's finally got fed-up of the lifestyle, the risks and her nutty dad, and wants to break away.

And then she meets Max Williams, the son of a small-town sheriff. Dad has anger management issues, and has piles of self-help books at his fingertips. Tara and Max decide they're going to disappear into the sunset together.

This is where the fun starts. Mix in irate parents, a Vietnam vet holed up in his own little world and who performs dodgy operations, and a load of FBI agents on the trail -- one of whom is an extremely stupid rich boy with a senator daddy to indulge him -- and you have a mad chase to end them all round Arizona.

Cook is apparently a scriptwriter. After this I predict a flourishing career in genre fiction as well! Take this to the beach with you, or just recline in your front room with it and enjoy the crazy, switchback ride. I took it on a long train journey, and resented having to get off at my stop, as I was enjoying the book so much!

Reviewed by Sharon Wheeler, June 2006

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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