Whiplash River

( 26 )

Overview

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, ...

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Whiplash River

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Overview

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.

Edgar Award Nominee for Best Paperback Original Novel

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
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. Agent: Richard Parks. (July)
Booklist (starred review)
“Berney’s plot makes as many sharp turns as San Francisco’s famously curvy Lombard Street. His characters . . . are brilliantly drawn . . . the dialogue is crisp and often funny . . . Whiplash River should be a contender for this year’s [Booklist’s Best Crime Novels] list.”
Oklahoma Gazette
“Berney blends equal parts action and humor, topped with the right amount of romance, for a summer read that’s a firecracker . . . fun, clever and well-written fiction with protagonists you can really root for.”
Cleveland Plain Dealer
“A non-stop comedy-thriller-romance that Elmore Leonard would proudly keep on his nightstand . . . Shake gets entangled with a mysterious older character, his former girlfriend Gina, a persistent FBI agent and a gunman you’ll root for — all with dialogue that ricochets faster than the bullets.”
The Barnes & Noble Review
“A delirious caper in the spirit of Hiaasen and Leonard.”
Shelf Awareness
“Whiplash River is nonstop action, filled with humor, plot twists and even romance . . a hilarious crime caper spanning the globe.”
SheKnows.com
“Wonderfully flawed characters . . . Berney keeps you guessing until the very last chapter. Fun, exciting and deadly, Whiplash River is not to be missed.”
Virginian Pilot
“If you like crime fiction, do yourself a favor and read Lou Berney’s thrilling, funny and whipsmart novel Whiplash River. Then, if you haven’t read its predecessor, Gutshot Straight, Berney’s debut novel, read that one too.”
Express Milwaukee
“This witty, comedic tale is filled with romance, mystery and intrigue. A good caper with well-developed characters, Whiplash River is a winding adventure.”
Bookgasm
“This is pure breezy reading — a fun little crime novel that will pass the time as you lounge out on beaches or by pools this summer.”
The Review Broads blog
“Fast, furious, with characters that spike higher than the scatterbrain action, Berney has a hit on his hands with Whiplash River. Ferociously funny, endearingly romantic, annoyingly buzzed, slapstick and chaotic.”
Iron Mountain Daily News
“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.”
Booklist
"Berney’s plot makes as many sharp turns as San Francisco’s famously curvy Lombard Street. His characters . . . are brilliantly drawn . . . the dialogue is crisp and often funny . . . Whiplash River should be a contender for this year’s [Booklist’s Best Crime Novels] list."
Bookreporter.com
“You don’t have to have read GUTSHOT STRAIGHT to thoroughly enjoy WHIPLASH RIVER, but you’ll want to, simply to savor more of Berney’s work and characters while you’re waiting for what hopefully will be next year’s installment.”
Timothy Hallinan
“Some writers can make me laugh and some can make me gasp, but Lou Berney can make me do both at the same time, and then get me all misty, too. Whiplash River belongs at the very top of the bestseller list.”
Marcus Sakey
“Slick, sleek, and wildly entertaining, Whiplash River is pure pleasure. I’m a snob for prose, and these words sing, managing to be at once lean and evocative, confident and wry. Lou Berney is that kind of annoyingly skilled stylist who makes everything look easy.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062115287
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 7/10/2012
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 954,068
  • Product dimensions: 5.44 (w) x 7.80 (h) x 0.79 (d)

Meet the Author

Lou Berney

Lou Berney is an accomplished writer, teacher, and liar who has written feature screenplays and created TV pilots for Warner Brothers, Paramount, Focus Features, ABC, and Fox, among others. His short fiction has appeared in the New Yorker, Ploughshares, the Pushcart Prize anthology, and other publications. His first novel, Gutshot Straight, was named one of the ten best debut crime novels of the year by Booklist and nominated for a Barry Award.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 26 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(11)

4 Star

(8)

3 Star

(6)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(1)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 26 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 14, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Whiplash River is the second book for Lou Berney. It picks up th

    Whiplash River is the second book for Lou Berney. It picks up the story of 'Shake' Bouchon, the lead character from Berney's first book - Gutshot Straight.

    Now I hadn't read the first book, but had no problem getting caught up in Shake's story. He's an ex con who has pursued and captured his dream of owning a restaurant in Belize. At last, he can live a nice quiet life on the up and up, earning his money legitimately. Except....he borrowed the money for the restaurant from local crime boss Baby Jesus and he's having trouble making payments - business is a bit slow. But the pace of Shake's life picks up when a masked gunman attempts to kill Quinn, one of his customers. This is just the opening gambit for a roller coaster ride of a read involving a rogue FBI agent, the miffed girlfriend of the gunman, Baby Jesus and his goons, the mob and more. And travel too! The book careens from Belize to San Francisco to Egypt.

    I chose to listen to Whiplash River and I'm glad I did. The reader was Jeff Gurner and he was an excellent choice. The dialogue in Whiplash River is a huge part of the appeal of this quirky book. Gurner adopted many different and unique voices and accents that brought the whip smart patter to life. I think my favourite was Quinn - who has a story and an anecdote for every situation - I could just see him warming up to share his wisdom. His pacing was great and matched the speed of the action. His speaking voice is clear and easy to listen to. I think I enjoyed the audio more than I would have the book - listening to it just really brought it to life.

    Berney has concocted a great fun read that doesn't take itself too seriously, but will keep you entertained. Comparisons have been made to Elmore Leonard and Carl Hiassen and I would have to agree. I'd happily listen to another of Berney's books.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2012

    Very good

    I read his first novel afew weeks ago. I found it on the free list and enjoyed it. I promised myself I would gladly pay for his next book. I bought this as soon as it came out. Besides the main character, one character carries over. You probably should read them in order so as to fully understand the relationship, but you wouldn't miss much if you did not. This story spans exotic locations on two continents. Lots of action. Big cast of characters. Maybe a few too many characters.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2012

    Lou Berney

    What a writer!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2012

    Entertainig!

    Good read! Enjoyable story, but not as good as first one.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 8, 2014

    More Shake Please! I thoroughly enjoyed Gunshot Straight and l

    More Shake Please!
    I thoroughly enjoyed Gunshot Straight and looked forward to Whiplash River. It didn't disappoint. Shake is now one of my favorite anti-heroes. Keep him coming, Mr. Berney!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 15, 2013

    Smokeypelt

    *he purred happily* "Come on , you need rest" *he meowed as he pushed her forward in the direction of his den*

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 15, 2013

    StormSpark

    "So do you!" She laughed, tugging him by his scruff.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 31, 2012

    Awesome read!

    Im so sad its over i loved reading both books highly recommend!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2012

    Great book!

    Wonderful characters..loved it! Be sure and read Gutshot

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 15, 2012

    Wow

    Great seqel. Looking forward to the next book.

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  • Posted July 12, 2012

    Great novel

    Great novel

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 26 Customer Reviews

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