Friday, August 8, 2014
Review of Hard Bounce by Todd Robinson (Tyrus Books, 2014)
Hard Bounce is a hardboiled noir tale of friendship, exploitation, violence and compassion. Robinson writes in tight, expressive prose, capturing the dark world of Boo and Junior, two men who survived growing up as orphans in boy’s home and now eke out a living running their own security company bouncing pubs/nightclubs. There is a good dynamic between Boo and Junior and the characterisation through is nicely developed. Boo, in particular, is well portrayed, a large, hard man with anger management and self-loathing issues, haunted by his past and concerns as to what happened to his sister after the death of his parents. The plot is a typical PI tale concerning the hunt for a misfit, rich kid who’s disappeared into Boston’s underbelly, but the twist is that Boo and Junior are bouncers, not detectives. What they do have, however, is an inside track on Boston’s darker side, street wits, and a set of tight friends. The theme around underage sexual exploitation is dark, but so is that world. Boo’s single-mindedness and his refusal to share information or seek help is pushed to an extreme perhaps, but worked as a plot device to ratchet up the tension. The real pleasure of the story is Boo and Junior’s banter and friendship and tracking them through their dark and lethal adventure.