Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Book Review: "Good Behavior" by Blake Crouch

Blake Crouch blew my mind and threw me for a loop with Dark Matter (see my review). When I decided to read Good Behavior, a collection of three interlinked novellas, I wondered if lightning would strike twice for me when reading Crouch's books.

My verdict? Crouch really is one hell of a writer. While this book didn't quite take my breath away like Dark Matter did, he proved once again that he knows how to create some fantastic action scenes and ratchet up tension until you are absolutely dying to know what's going to happen next. And in Letty Dobesh, he has created a fantastically memorable character I hope we'll see again soon. (The adaptation of some of these stories, starring Downton Abbey's Michelle Dockery, is currently airing, and Crouch provides some insight into the creation of the television show in this book.)

Letty Dobesh is fresh out of prison. She has a son she's not fit to see, a drug habit that she can't quite seem to shake, and while she needs to get herself back on the straight and narrow, she realizes more and more that she's happiest when she's in the middle of a scheme—or using drugs. The sad thing is, despite a few missteps, she's generally really good at being a criminal.

In "The Pain of Others," Letty has returned to her old pastime of robbing hotel rooms when she overhears a conversation between two men, one who has just hired the other to kill his wife. Letty is unsure what to do. Should she contact the police, despite the compromising position she was in when she heard the murder being agreed upon? Should she just walk out of the room when she can and pretend she heard nothing? Or should she try and warn the wife of what is imminent?

In "Sunset Key," Letty is offered a multi-million dollar scheme from an old friend and fellow criminal. A very wealthy banker has been found guilty of defrauding millions of people, and he has been sentenced to a long prison term. He'd like to spend his last night of freedom with a special woman, and Letty can be that woman—for a price. And in "Bad," Letty gets the chance to be part of a heist unlike any others, but it is far from what she expected.

Each of these novellas has a lot of twists and turns, and while you think you know how Crouch will wrap things up, you're not always right. The first and the third novellas in particular ("The Pain of Others" and "Bad") really threw me for a loop a few times. I don't know what it will be like watching the television adaptations knowing all I know, but I'm definitely going to have to see Letty in motion.

Don't go into this expecting Dark Matter or even the Wayward Pines series (which I've definitely added to my list). These are more straightforward crime stories than anything else, but they're still fascinating and utterly compelling. I'm seriously a huge Blake Crouch fan now, not that I wasn't before!

1 comment:

  1. Great review! I had no idea this was based on a book as I've only seen ads for the tv show. Now I want to try both! Still waiting on my copy of Dark Mattyer...