Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Learning the rules in the "47 Rules Of Highly Effective Bank Robbers" by Troy Cook

This is the third book I have read from Capital Crime Press, the other two are novels from the excellent "Baby Shark" series written by Robert Fate. This book reminded me a lot of those books with dysfunctional parenting, strong daughters with a penchant for violence, and the majority of men being idiots. And yet, their tales go about things in very different ways with humor being a major character in this novel.

47 Rules Of Highly Effective Bank Robbers
By Troy Cook
Capital Crime Press
ISBN # 978-0-9776276-6-0
Large Trade Paperback
282 Pages

Tara Evans didn't mean to shoot her father Wyatt in the foot during a bank robbery. Dubbed the "Crying Bandit" in the media she still wasn't too sure of herself. Of course, being nine years old might have had something to do with it. Truth be told, its just too bad she didn't shoot a bit higher and save everyone some grief.

Something she has regretted a lot by the time she turned twenty-two and was robbing banks in Texas with him. Along with developing the 47 rules for bank robbing, Wyatt has developed a serious like for unnecessarily killing folks. The latest incident has happened in Del Rio. Over the years he has also developed an interest in slapping her around whenever he felt like it, which is pretty often. Tara has also gradually come to the scary realization that he wants more from her than any daughter should ever give her own father.

Thanks to the fiasco in Del Rio, now they are on the run to Arizona as Wyatt works another plan to ensure their continuing freedom while a federal task force is in pursuit. Their cause of freedom is helped by the fact that the task force leader, Special Agent Stratton, aka Agent Blowhard, is an idiot. Much like Wyatt, he likes the violent outcomes of their actions a bit too much. Being the son of a powerful Senator keeps him in his job despite his incredible stupidity and where the highlight of his day, after screaming at the far superior agents below him, is to sit somewhere and watch the playback of the latest incident from the security tapes.

Then, there is Max, the son of a well meaning Arizona Sheriff who loves self help books. While he pushes one book after another on his wayward son in an effort to turn his life around, Max keeps stumbling into trouble. His Sheriff Daddy gets him out of it each and every time and before long Max is right back into it. Tara represents trouble in the worst way and before long, he runs right into her arms.

What follows is a comedic crime novel full of eccentric characters, major does of humor and action, and seriously odd behavior with twisted results. One can't help laughing out loud frequently throughout the book as this roller coaster style read plunges along shifting constantly in point of view through quite a number of characters. Most of the men have serious mental issues and a good portion of the women aren't exactly sane either. For the most part, these are the kind of folks that wouldn't make it on the lowest of the talk shows because the producers would worry about these folks being too out there.

And yet, in Troy Cook's world it works and works well. They grow on you and do so quickly before a couple of chapters have passed. The result is a violent and entertaining read that will keep you guessing until the end.

Kevin R. Tipple © 2007

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