Saturday, February 19, 2011

Book Review: "The Terror of Living" by Urban Waite

The crime novel seems to be one of the fictional genres with a tremendous amount of talent. Between successful authors like Michael Connelly, Robert Crais, Steve Hamilton and James Patterson, and the constant influx of new talent, there is always a book to get your mind and your heart racing. With his debut novel, The Terror of Living, Urban Waite is a welcome addition to the genre.

Phil Hunt and his wife lead a quiet life, raising horses in the Pacific Northwest. Having served time in prison for killing a man when he was younger, Phil mostly keeps to himself and tries to stay out of trouble, only taking an occasional job running drugs across the Canadian border when he needs to make ends meet. One night, a drug run goes horribly wrong, when he and an associate are apprehended by Bobby Drake, a young deputy sheriff whose father is in jail for drug running. Hunt escapes but loses the drugs, and finds himself in a great deal of trouble. He is ordered to make one last drug run, yet that, too, goes horribly awry, and he finds himself on the run from Grady, a vicious psychopath hired to kill him. Grady is being followed by two Vietnamese men who want the drugs they were promised, which spells more trouble for Hunt. And it turns out the only person Hunt may be able to count on is Bobby Drake, who has his own demons to fight as well.

This book, much like Galveston, which I read earlier this month, has some definite overtones similar to the film No Country for Old Men, especially where Grady's character is concerned. I really liked the characters in this book, even though Grady gave me the creeps. Waite is a writer with tremendous promise; while I had a feeling I knew what twists and turns the book would take, watching the story get to those places was very compelling. I felt the story dragged a bit at times, and I always get a little weary with books or movies that have a killer who is always magically able to be one step ahead of everyone else, but on the whole, this is a tremendously readable book. I think we'll be seeing Urban Waite's name again soon...

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