“Like Carl Hiaasen, Berney delights in the cartoonish. Like Elmore Leonard, he can drive a plot. What sets him apart is how well he evokes love, making the romance…as compelling as the mystery.”
Lou Berney immediately earned a seat of honor at the mystery masters’ table with his crackling caper novel, Gutshot Straight—a lightning-fast, fiendishly clever suspenser that screamed for a sequel. And here it is. Former professional wheel man Charles “Shake” Bouchon is back, living in the Caribbean paradise of Belize with his lawless past far behind him—until a gunshot tears through his beachside restaurant and he’s on the run again. A twisting tale filled with lawmen, con men, and hit men; a beautiful but deadly FBI agent; and a murderous thug named Baby Jesus, Whiplash River recalls the best of the off-the-wall crime fiction impresarios—Elmore Leonard, Carl Hiaasen, James W. Hall, Robert Ferrigno, Tim Dorsey—while establishing its own unique orbit in the noir universe.
Berney takes his rightful place as heir to Elmore Leonard with this witty and nimble comedic thriller, a sequel to his first novel, Gutshot Straight (2010). Charles "Shake" Bouchon, once a getaway driver for the Armenian mafia in Southern California, wants to go straight. After a second stint in prison for grand theft auto, he's bought a restaurant in Belize. The food's good, but business is slow, and Shake is falling behind on his payments to Baby Jesus, the local drug lord who bankrolled this new venture. But that's just the beginning of Shake's problems: when a mysterious operator named Quinn is nearly killed in Shake's dining room, Shake is drawn into a circuitous plot involving fertility tourism, exotic animal smuggling, a murderous oil and gas executive (he's in fracking, of course), and an Ocean's 11 style heist of a priceless artifact that Quinn tricks Shake into believing is the nose of the Sphinx. The exotic locales are vibrant, the supporting cast larger than life, and the plot hums along without a wasted page.