Boot Tracks

Boot Tracks

4.6 3
by Matthew F. Jones
     
 

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Charlie Rankin has recently been released from prison, but prison has not released its grip on him. He owes his life to "The Buddha," who has given him a job to do on the outside: he must kill a man, a man who has done him no harm, a man he has never met. Along the road to this brutal encounter, Rankin meets Florence, who may be an angel in disguise or simply a

Overview

Charlie Rankin has recently been released from prison, but prison has not released its grip on him. He owes his life to "The Buddha," who has given him a job to do on the outside: he must kill a man, a man who has done him no harm, a man he has never met. Along the road to this brutal encounter, Rankin meets Florence, who may be an angel in disguise or simply a lonely ex porn star seeking salvation. Together they careen towards their fate, taking the reader along for the ride.

Boot Tracks is a commanding tale of a man and a woman struggling against a destiny they cannot control, told in Matthew F. Jones' characteristically taut, economic style. An assassination gone terribly wrong; a couple searching for one last chance to find a safe place in a hostile world. With these elements Jones weaves a harrowing tale of suspense, violence and compassion.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Praise for Boot Tracks

"Brilliantly chilling. A nightmare thriller with the power to haunt."—Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review) 

"Jones is a rare stylist - readers looking for an intense, affecting experience shouldn't miss this one."—Peter Handel, Pages Magazine 

"An artful novel enlivened by some of the best low-life dialogue this side of Elmore Leonard."
—Patrick Andersen, The Washington Post 

"Superlatives have been sapped of their meaning by overzealous critics, and somehow it sounds fake to say that a book is one of the "best things" you've "read all year." It's just that, sometimes {as in the case of Matthew F. Jones's "Boot Tracks"} that happens to be true. I haven't read something that made me empathize with a bad guy this intensely since I read "In Cold Blood" in high school."
—Katie Haegele, The Philadelphia Inquirer 

"The sense of horrible inevitability is almost overpowering here. If only Jean-Pierre Melville (Bob le Flambeur) were still alive to make the movie version."—Bill Ott, Booklist 

"'Boot Tracks, by Matthew F. Jones, is a stunning crime novel - and one you won't soon forget."
—Guy Savage, Mostly Fiction Book Reviews 

Kirkus Reviews
More than just a very good crime thriller, this dark but illuminating novel shows us the psychopathology of the criminal mind. Good-looking in a Marlboro Man way, street-savvy and sharp-eyed, Charlie Rankin is still a mess. Jones (The Elements of Hitting, 1994, etc.) turns him loose on a savage mission, and we watch him implode. Fresh from a four-year prison term for "taking forty-two bucks and some candy bars from a hospital vending machine I jacked open," Rankin is a hired gun, charged by his jailhouse mentor/lover William Pettigrew to murder a man for vengeance. The money's nice; the target, Pettigrew insists, deserves death. And so, methodically, Rankin sets out, constantly replaying mental movies of Charlie Bronson's The Mechanic, Hollywood's version of himself. In reality, he's hardly the cold monster he aims to be, but the shell of a lost boy abused by his father. On the way to the hit, he shacks up with a wasted cutie in cowboy boots. She, too, contends with a double identity: Is she Florence, lonely and desperate for love? Or LuAnn, the stage name she's picked as a minor porn star? Pettigrew himself, Rankin's puppetmaster, is both a hardcore criminal but also a kind of sage, whom Rankin refers to as "The Buddha." When Rankin explodes into murder, the scene is appallingly graphic, but perhaps even more wrenching are its metaphysical implications. For, even as he butchers, Rankin can't help wondering: am I so crazily confused that I've killed the wrong man? Brilliantly chilling in its step-by-step examination of the mechanics of committing a criminal act-how the gun fits the hand, how to stash the cash-the novel's true terror is an interior one: an extreme-close-up vision of thedrive toward homicide. A nightmare thriller with the power to haunt.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781933372112
Publisher:
Europa
Publication date:
05/15/2006
Pages:
208
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.00(d)

Meet the Author

Matthew F. Jones is the author of the novels Deepwater and The Elements of Hitting, Single Shot, Blind Pursuit, and Cooter Farm, each critically acclaimed. He was born in Boston and raised in rural upstate New York. He lives with his family in Charlottesville, Virginia

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Boot Tracks 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Yakketyyak More than 1 year ago
This really was a powerful novel - hard, gritty and uncompromising - about a hard core criminal, Charlie Rankin, who the author uses great skill to imbue with humanity and to make us, despite his horrendous acts, care about and even root for. The style is utterly unique in the way it gets inside of Charlie's head so that reading it gives you the uncomfortable sensation of seeing the world as Charlie sees it. An unbelievably tense read, with a style that doesn't waste a word, it kept me holding my breath until the very end - great dialogue, great characters, great story, great book.
bluelu More than 1 year ago
rough, urgent & down to earth lowly type of man. sort of drifting around & through life. a man who seems to be seeking to define himself while fullfilling a promise, made to his 'protector' while in prison. he must murder someone,who is not only is a complete stranger to him, he doesn't know why or any of the circumstances or reasons behind the murder motive. intense & urgent. i enjoyed this 2nd book by Jones, even better was his first book 'a single shot'. try both. very good & fast reads too as they kept me going to see what would happen ;next. not for the everyday reader. an acquired taste, for those who are tired of the same old, same old, you know.
Calaboose More than 1 year ago
I loved this book - sort of a blend of the best of Jim Thompson and Cormac McCarthy. Really compelling story about a couple on the run and what the world looks like from the jumbled mind of a killer. The sort of precise writing that makes you see, smell, hear, feel every moment as if you're in it. Highly recommended.