Mule

Tony D'Souza. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt/Mariner, $14.95 trade paper (304p) ISBN 978-0-547-57671-8
James is a writer living the good life in "wild and lusty" Austin, Tex., a man who finds himself, "At thirty... suddenly making and spending money in a way I never had." But it's not long after he meets Kate, another bright young thing, that "both of our careers were gone," casualties of the Great Recession. The couple moves to Northern California, where James meets Kate's old friends and quickly realizes that he could buy their marijuana crop cheap, haul it cross country, and make a tidy profit. Things fall neatly into place as James assumes the middle-man role between his California grower and his Floridian dealer and the money—along with big trouble—starts pouring in. D'Souza does an admirable job of creating likable characters in James and the people around him, but there's only one way that this narrative can go. Or rather, there are any number of possibilities, but one obvious choice. The same actions—pick up drugs, encounter/overcome obstacles, deliver drugs—repeated too often, and too much time spent on the road, pushes anything but the basic plot into the background, creating a compelling but anemic read. (Sept.)w
Reviewed on: 06/20/2011
Release date: 09/01/2011
Compact Disc - 978-0-7927-9433-2
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