Thursday, October 22, 2015

Review: Deadly Lullaby by Robert McClure

Deadly Lullaby

Robert McClure

Random House
September 29, 2015

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For readers of Harlan Coben and Robert Crais, Robert McClure’s rollicking crime novel of family and felony takes readers on a relentless thrill ride through the L.A. underworld.
Fresh off a nine-year stint in San Quentin, career hitman Babe Crucci plans to finally go straight and enjoy all life has to offer—after he pulls one or two more jobs to shore up his retirement fund. More than anything, Babe is dead set on making up for lost time with his estranged son, Leo, who just so happens to be a rising star in the LAPD.
The road to reconciliation starts with tickets to a Dodgers game. But first, Leo needs a little help settling a beef over some gambling debts owed to a local mobster. This kind of thing is child’s play for Babe–until a sudden twist in the negotiations leads to a string of corpses and a titanic power shift in gangland politics. With the sins of his father piling up and dragging him down, Leo throws himself into the investigation of a young prostitute’s murder, a case that makes him some unlikely friends—and some brutally unpredictable enemies.
Caught up in a clash of crime lords, weaving past thugs with flamethrowers who expend lives like pocket change, Babe and Leo have one last chance to face the ghosts of their past—if they want to live long enough to see their future.

Review: I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Deadly Lullaby was a bit of a departure from my normal fare, and it was a really nice change of pace. 

What I liked:
The relationship between Leo and Babe- Mr. McClure managed a rather realistic relationship between two people who though chose different paths, are also quite similar deep down. Loved the dysfunctional relationship dynamics.
The action- Lots of high-stakes, intriguing action made this novel a real page-turner.
The twists and turns- Interesting criminals made for an engaging story. I wasn't keen on the gang aspect, yet it turned out to be quite provocative.

What I didn't like as much:
The pace- The story started out slow for me. Once I was about a third of the way through, it was fast-paced and kept my interest.
The writing style- There was nothing wrong with the style. It just didn't pull me in the way some fluidly-written stories do. Perhaps it's the genre. Like I said, I don't normally read thrillers, so maybe I wasn't used to the overall genre style.

Overall it was an intriguing story about dysfunctional family dynamics-- two men trying to connect again while embroiled in a clash with gang criminals. Expect lots of gritty, action-packed scenes.

About the Author

Robert McClure read pulp fiction as a kid when he should have been studying, but ultimately cracked down enough to obtain a bachelor’s in criminology from Murray State University and a law degree from the University of Louisville. He is now an attorney and crime fiction writer who lives and works in Louisville, Kentucky. His story “My Son” appeared in The Best American Mystery Stories, and he has had other works published in MudRock: Stories & Tales, Hardboiled, Thug Lit, and Plots with Guns.

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