In what is probably the worst city in America, given the amount of crime and corruption, Auction City is at a cross-roads of sorts. Police officer Andy Destra has uncovered solid evidence that there is corruption at the highest levels of the police department. Destra, who tries to be a good, decent cop in this city of criminals, must go it alone to try and save his beloved city (despite its faults) or it will sink into utter and perpetual ruin.
This book is partly dark humor, partly mystery, partly thriller, and partly enjoyable.
It’s difficult to make a lot of violence and a coterie of despicable characters into an enjoyable read. Even our protagonist, Andy Destra strikes the reader as a bit of a loser with a tremendously long struggle ahead of him if he is to succeed. But of course, it is precisely this sort of character who becomes even more heroic in his efforts and should he succeed.
To balance the violence, author Johnny Shaw provides an often subtle, dark humor throughout the book. Mostly it works, but there are times that it just feels too forced.
Like being in Emerald City in Oz, we get a peek behind the curtain of how a city operates – especially one under the control of a criminal syndicate. It is sometimes fun, but also a bit depressing when one considers how true-to-life this is in most cities around the country.
I never really got behind Destra. He remained quite an enigma and I was never really sure if I should be rooting for him or not. This took away a lot of the potential fun of this read for me.
This really was a very average read for me. It doesn’t make me want to hurry out and read more of Johnny Shaw, but if another Shaw book was offered to me, I’d give it a read. There is definitely an audience for this style of darkly comic thriller, but I’m not it.
Looking for a good book? Floodgate by Johnny Shaw tries to be darkly fun but doesn’t quite overcome the depravity of the setting.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
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author: Johnny Shaw
publisher: Thomas & Mercer
paperback, 366 pages