Extreme Odds: An Adam McCleet Mystery

Rick Hanson, PH.D., Author
Rick Hanson, PH.D., Author Kensington Publishing Corporation $22 (240p) ISBN 978-1-57566-333-3
Hardcover - 240 pages - 978-1-57566-358-6
Mass Market Paperbound - 256 pages - 978-1-57566-592-4
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The fifth mystery featuring Oregon-based ex-Marine and semi-enthusiastic sculptor Adam McCleet suffers from the same flaws as last year's Splitting Heirs. The plotting is predictable, and graceless sentences and feeble jokes bounce out from every page like boulders on a bad road. Hanson's characterizations are more than broad: in order to indicate that one of his characters is Jewish, for example, Hanson drowns Max Faverman in vaudevillian Yiddishisms (""Oy, she had such demands!"" Max says about his late wife; ""My son? The putz?"" he says of his offspring). Max is so steeped in Catskills schmaltz that it's hard to take seriously McCleet's claim, ""Though he owned the largest shoe manufacturing plant in the Pacific Northwest, I always thought he had the heart of a warrior."" Max's son Buddy, the putz, has joined forces with some local Native Americans to secede from the Union, form their own country--named Bob--and get rich by opening a casino. McCleet is soon persuaded to head up Bob's law enforcement after the Bank of Buddy (which is issuing Buddy Bucks) is robbed. The galley carries a review quote comparing Hanson to Carl Hiaasen, but misfires like this novel only illustrate how good are the efforts of Hiaasen, Joe Lansdale and others who fashion offbeat comic mysteries that are truly funny and original. (Dec.)
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