Plaster City: A Jimmy Veeder Fiasco

Johnny Shaw. Amazon/Thomas & Mercer, $14.95 trade paper (334p) ISBN 978-1-4778-1758-2
Violent, hilarious, and touching, Shaw’s sequel to Dove Season (2011) chronicles the efforts of semi-reformed brawler Jimmy Veeder to help Bobby Maves find his missing 16-year-old daughter, Julie. The setting, in the nothing-to-lose hardscrabble Southern California desert, encourages irresponsible antics, and the two buddies proceed by headlong, drunken chaos rather than careful planning. Meanwhile, the intimidating presence of a Mexican crime lord, once Jimmy’s friend, reminds readers that things could turn very serious, very fast. Moreover, the action lurches in surprising directions—when Bobby arrives to rescue Julie, she isn’t exactly glad to see him. Jimmy himself is torn by his urge to stay home and be a better father to his son, so concern with the theory and practice of “family” underlies the main plot’s bloody slapstick bromance. Joe R. Lansdale perfected this brand of compassionate mayhem in his Hap & Leonard stories, but Anthony Award–winner Shaw does it extremely well, too. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 01/27/2014
Release date: 04/15/2014
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