“Lucky Bastard” by S. G. Browne (Gallery Books, 2012)

Lucky Bastard
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The bestselling author of Breathers and Fate returns with another entertaining and funny book that is well keeping in the style of one S. G. Browne.  Readers who have come to enjoy Browne’s particular style, humor, and characters will be delighted in this latest offering with Lucky Bastard.

Nick Monday is not your usual private detective, by any means.  He’s what you’d call a luck poacher.  Yep, that’s pretty much exactly what it sounds like.  Since he was a young child, he knew he’d inherited the “family gift,” and then went on to make a business out of it, as so many luck poachers do.  All he has to do is shake the lucky (and soon to be less than lucky) person’s hand and the luck is magically transferred into him.  He’s not sure exactly how it works, it just does.  The person isn’t necessarily unlucky from them on, he or she is simply no longer lucky.  As to how Mr. Monday can tell whether a person is lucky, it’s sort of like sensing someone’s midichlorian count and the strength of their force, like an aura in a way.  There are several gradations of good luck, from some good fortune on up to easily picking those winning lottery numbers.  And just as there is good luck out there, there’s also bad luck, but Nick does his best to stay from that.

Except bad luck seems to keep finding him wherever he goes.  He lives in San Francisco, after having to leave another state for some shady business, but soon finds himself getting on a number of people’s bad sides, including the supposed daughter of the mayor of the city, Tuesday Knight, who offers him $100,000 to get back her father’s stolen luck. (Yes, Nick was the one to steal the luck originally; and no, it’s pretty much a one way thing when you take someone’s luck.)  He also finds himself mixed up and seriously pissing off a Chinese mafia kingpin.

Lucky Bastard is over the top and fast-paced, taking you all over the wonderful city of San Francisco, but Browne does a great job of suspending the reader’s disbelief, creating a character that isn’t perfect by any means – in fact he gets quite annoying – but remains true to the writing and the character, keeping readers hooked to the very last page.

Originally written on March 13, 2012 ©Alex C. Telander.

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