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Posted January 1, 2004
A modern morality tale
What happens when you abruptly discover that after years of ordinary labor, acquisition of all the usual attributes and goods of a reasonably calm and settled life, there's a different person inside you? How do you react when you discover the dark side? What do you do when your moral compass breaks? For decades, comfortably married Mack Wray has worked away in the garment business in the Twin Cities. He's good with machines, a hard worker and he gets the job done. Life in Minnesota is pretty much okay. If there aren't a lot of soaring highs, there aren't any disasters either. But then comes Lars Larson, the people person. He persuades Mack to take a flier, to reach for that brass ring. Mack re-mortgages his house, borrows heavily wherever he can, including from his in-laws and quits his steady job. He and Larson are now in business together. They establish a new specialty garment manufacturing company. Mack Wray, the rag man, is in charge of production and Larson, the people person, handles sales. The purchase orders pour in and Larson arranges with Mack's friendly banker to lend money against those purchase orders. Money flows and things are looking great. And then one day, Mack discovers that Larson has disappeared, and he's taken every cent of cash in the company accounts. It gets worse. Mack Wray discovers a whole web of theft, fraud and other assorted chicanery, all part of Larson¿s history. What do Mack and his wife do as creditors circle? They take a free vacation to Mexico. What Mack discovers in Mexico, about Larson and about himself, will surprise and delight readers. In scene after snappy scene, the author brings us up short with sardonic and trenchant wit, with keen-sighted observation. The plot, well realized and fast-paced, has more than enough twists and reverses to satisfy the most ardent mystery/adventure fan. Hautman has peopled his novel with characters who climb off the page and dance you around the room. They are rich and multi-dimensional and their language is always true. Through the length of this delightful and dark and often explicit novel, Mack Wray discovers dimensions to himself he never realized he possessed. You may not laugh out loud, but you'll experience many a satisfying chuckle.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 13, 2003
Sex, Lies, and Murder
This is truly a must-read. I couldn't put the book down and when I had to, I was in a rush to get back to it. Hautman keeps each part of the book interesting. The book allows the reader to escape into a fantasy world and brings out the immoral part of our psyche. Can't get any better than that.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 16, 2001
A look at the dark side in everyone
I love Pete Hautman's books. And this was no exception. An ordinary guy gets draged down by a con man. And after he thinks all is lost he finds a side of himself he did'nt know he had. I loved reading this book, and watching as Mack MacWray found his dark side. Hautman has a way with characters that makes you want to interact with them. This was a wonderful ride and I would highly recommend this book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 9, 2008
Mack MacWray ran the sewing operation of Linkway Sportswear when the firm hired Lars Larson as national sales manager. Gradually, the two men bond and become friends so when Lars decides to open up his own company to compete with Linkway, Mack joins him, forming a partnership, Mac Lar Manufacturing. Mack owns sixty percent and is president. <P>Mack believes everything is going perfect as demand is way ahead of supply and credit is readily available if needed. However, everything abruptly collapses when Lars vanishes, taking all the liquid assets with him. Some time later by either a cosmic thirst for revenge or just a colossal coincidence, Mack meets Lars in Mexico, an unexpected rendezvous that changes the ethical man forever. <P> Pete Hautman has written an exceptional tale centering on the impact of a con artist misjudging his mark. The story line is fast paced with plenty of action and credible characters especially the lead duo though the transformation of Mack from a caring brilliant individual into a cold clone of Lars seems abrupt. Still RAG MAN is a pleasant reading experience. <P>Harriet KlausnerWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.