Saturday, August 13, 2016

Steve Brewer, Boost

Steve Brewer, Boost
Originally published 2005
Available as an ebook

Sam Hill makes a living stealing cars to order, and has been quite successful at it.  But not today. Having boosted a 1965 T-bird with gold metal-flake paint, he stops at a convenience store to get something to drink, and as he and a cop are entering the store, a cell phone goes off…in the car’s trunk.  Hill manages to open the trunk and get the phone without anyone else looking on, which is just as well—there’s a dead man in there.

So what’s going on?  Has he been set up?  And, if so, by whom? 

In the course of finding out, and getting out of the predicament that the corpse (which turns out to be that of a DEA snitch) has caused him, we encounter Robin Mitchell (who coordinates his thefts and takes care of the cars; she’s the daughter of the guy Hill had worked with for years), a bad cop (Stanton), a sort-of-good (or at least amused) cop (Delgado), another person in the stolen car racket (an no friend of Hill, Ernesto Moreles), two DEA agents, and a builder with a million dollar car collection (Ortiz, from whom Hill stole a Barracuda with the Virgin of Guadalupe painted on the hood).  Also Billy (Hill’s “apprentice) and Way-Way (a very large, very tough bouncer, and a high school friend of Hill’s).

Brewer does this sort of thing very well, and the path from the beginning to the end is not, of course, very smooth.  The setting (New Mexico) is nicely handled, and all of the actors behave in the ways we might expect.  It’s hard to say justice is done (after all, our protagonist is a professional thief), but the conclusion is nicely set up and realized.  Very much worth your time.


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