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Whiplash River: A Novel by Lou Berney
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Whiplash River: A Novel

by Lou Berney

Series: Shake (2)

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Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
What a romp through the criminal element. I really liked the characters Lou Berney developed in this little series. ( )
  RobertaLea | Feb 16, 2019 |
Synopsis/blurb….

Having left his life of crime behind, former getaway driver Charles "Shake" Bouchon has finally realized the dream of owning his own restaurant in Belize. Unfortunately, to do so he's had to go deep in debt to a murderous local drug lord named Baby Jesus. And when Shake thwarts an attempted hit on an elderly customer named Quinn, things go from bad to worse.

Next thing Shake knows, his restaurant's gone up in flames and he's on the run from Baby Jesus, two freelance assassins, and a beautiful but ferocious FBI agent. Out of options, Shake has to turn to the mysterious Quinn for help. Suddenly Shake's up to his neck in a dangerous score that he'll never pull off unless he can convince an even more dangerous ex-girlfriend to join him.
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My take....

Another mid-2016 read and my second time with author Lou Berney and his retired Armenian wheelman Shake Bouchon. Gutshot Straight introduced me to the character and was one of my favourite reads of 2012.

In Whiplash River, Shake returns and is trying to go straight. Needless to say things quickly get complicated. He owns a restaurant and he owes money. He saves the life of a customer in the restaurant, an old guy named Quinn, who was regaling him with tales of dark deeds in South America.

Shake’s restaurant subsequently gets burned down and this time he is the target. Before long Shake is involved in a caper in Egypt, dreamed up by the mysterious Quinn and involving his ex-lover Gina.

The book had the right combination of ingredients that I enjoy in my reading…..an interesting but somewhat unlucky protagonist - one with a chequered past and in a tight pinch; a bit of a love interest, but as it’s a former rather than a current beau there’s plenty of scope for tension and humour; a couple of hitmen; a drug-boss money lender; a mysterious figure with a shady past, one who you aren’t quite sure if he’s a serial fantasist or if he has lived the life and the seemingly tall tales of derring-do are genuine; the FBI in pursuit and a proposal for a crime which if it can be pulled off might offer a get out of jail free card.

Plot – great, characters – interesting and funny, action – plenty, dialogue – entertaining, setting – Belize and Egypt – ok.

Enjoyable but not as memorable as the first. 12 months down the line, I can’t actually recall what they went to Egypt to do, but that’s fine. Not every book I read has to remain seared in my memory banks for ever.

Enjoyable, entertaining, nothing else I wanted to be reading once I got stuck into this one.

4 from 5

A few thoughts on Gutshot Straight here.
http://col2910.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/lou-berney-gutshot-straight.html

I have another Berney book on the pile – The Long and Faraway Gone, a novel which doesn’t feature Shake Bouchon and apparently won a few awards - an Edgar, an Anthony, a Barry, a Macavity.

Lou Berney has a website here.
http://www.louberney.com/
He's on Twitter - @Lou_Berney
https://twitter.com/lou_berney?lang=en

Read in June, 2016
Published – 2012
Page count – 312
Source – purchased copy
Format - paperback

https://col2910.blogspot.co.uk/2017/07/lou-berney-whiplash-river-2012.html ( )
  col2910 | Jul 27, 2017 |
'Whiplash River' is a fast-paced sequel to Lou Berney's Gutshot Straight, with lots of whacky characters, humor, action, exotic locales, violence, a little sex, and a plot that's made for the movies. I'm not sure who'd play the part of the inimitable Shake, but there's everything here for a high budget blockbuster.

Shake had a problem. His restaurant wasn't doing well, he was late in repaying a loan to a gangster, a pretty FBI agent is tracking him down for his past sins, people are shooting at his patrons in his restaurant, his place of business explodes, and he needs to get out of town, fast. Problem is, town is a tropical island and all he has is an old ex-CIA guy who won't shut up and who's also being chased and a slow tourist boat they stole to get them to Mexico. That's only the beginning.....

It'd be very easy to spoil the remainder of this and I won't do it....the fun is just starting and you just have to get to know the characters. This book is a blast!

By the way, I've heard comparisons of the writer to Hiassen and I can certainly see them. He also has a lot of Elmore Leonard in there as well with the great dialogue and characters that may be a little criminally-inclined but fun to hang with as well. ( )
  gmmartz | May 23, 2017 |
Whiplash River is the sequel to Lou Berney's first book, Gutshot Straight. While Charles Bouchon was in prison, he was nicknamed Shake" which is short for "Vanilla Milk Shake". With his past behind him, he moves to Belize to start a new beachside restaurant. Without any money to open the restaurant, he goes deep in debt to a local drug load names Baby Jesus. Events start to spiral downward as the restaurant goes up in flames and the drug lord, two assassins, an FBI agent are all after 'Shake'. The chase takes you all the way to Egypt.

This book is a fast read, entertaining and action packed with interesting characters. If you enjoy Elmore Leonard and Hiassen, you will enjoy reading Lou Berney. It's a lark of a story, with strong female roles and love interests.

I have never read Lou Berney before but now I need to go back and read his first book, Gutshot Straight.

I read an ARC of this book but the book is on sale starting tomorrow, July 10, 2012." ( )
  EadieB | Jun 1, 2016 |
Whiplash River by Lou Berney is one fun, crazy adventure. Charles "Shake" Bouchon has supposedly left his life of crime behind to pursue his dream of opening a restaurant in Belize, which was, unfortunately, financed through a risky loan from Baby Jesus, the head of a local drug smuggling operation. Suddenly Shake's dream literally explodes and he finds himself on the run with a senior citizen, Harry Quinn, whose mysterious past seems to be just another long story waiting to be told.

Shake saved Harry's life once, but why would someone be trying to kill Harry, and now Shake, and who is ordering the hits? Will Shake meet the attractive Evelyn or see his former girlfriend, Gina, again? Traveling from Belize to the USA to Egypt while being stalked by an FBI agent and hunted by two hired killers, Shake may be looking at more dire consequences than an end to his dreams.

I don't want to give away too much of the plot because following it is most of the fun. Berney has written TV pilots and it shows. The writing is tight, smart and funny and clever and... it's great. The plot is action packed and races along quickly. I can picture this as a series that will have some longevity. There is action, humor, gun play, chases, narrow escapes, and even a little romance.

All the characters are well developed as individuals with human flaws. Shake is wonderfully inept at times and Harry was a hoot. I could really visualize this old guy and all his stories that you aren't sure how much is true, even while they never quite offer up the complete truth or all the information you actually need. It's was easy to follow the characters along too, even though he does have a cast of them.

Make no mistake about it, Whiplash River is funny and clever. This is a sequel to Burney's first novel, Gutshot Straight (2010). I am going to have to get my hands on a copy of it ASAP. While you can certainly appreciate Whiplash River as a stand alone novel, after reading it, I predict you will feel the same way I do and want to read the first novel.

Whiplash River is highly recommended to offer up some great escapism and entertainment.
( )
  SheTreadsSoftly | Mar 21, 2016 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0062115286, Paperback)

Having left his life of crime behind, former getaway driver Charles "Shake" Bouchon has finally realized the dream of owning his own restaurant in Belize. Unfortunately, to do so he's had to go deep in debt to a murderous local drug lord named Baby Jesus. And when Shake thwarts an attempted hit on an elderly customer named Quinn, things go from bad to worse.

Next thing Shake knows, his restaurant's gone up in flames and he's on the run from Baby Jesus, two freelance assassins, and a beautiful but ferocious FBI agent. Out of options, Shake has to turn to the mysterious Quinn for help. Suddenly Shake's up to his neck in a dangerous score that he'll never pull off unless he can convince an even more dangerous ex-girlfriend to join him.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:08 -0400)

With lots of dangerous people after him and his restaurant in flames, Charles "Shake" Bouchon, who thought he had left his life of crime behind for good, agrees to follow a mysterious man to Mexico and help pull off a big score.

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