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Whiplash River: A Novel
     

Whiplash River: A Novel

3.8 62
by Lou Berney
 

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“Like Carl Hiaasen, Berney delights in the cartoonish. Like Elmore Leonard, he can drive a plot. What sets him apart is how well he evokes love, making the romance…as compelling as the mystery.”
Boston Globe

Lou Berney immediately earned a seat of honor at the mystery masters’ table with his crackling caper novel,

Overview

“Like Carl Hiaasen, Berney delights in the cartoonish. Like Elmore Leonard, he can drive a plot. What sets him apart is how well he evokes love, making the romance…as compelling as the mystery.”
Boston Globe

Lou Berney immediately earned a seat of honor at the mystery masters’ table with his crackling caper novel, Gutshot Straight—a lightning-fast, fiendishly clever suspenser that screamed for a sequel. And here it is. Former professional wheel man Charles “Shake” Bouchon is back, living in the Caribbean paradise of Belize with his lawless past far behind him—until a gunshot tears through his beachside restaurant and he’s on the run again. A twisting tale filled with lawmen, con men, and  hit men; a beautiful but deadly FBI agent; and a murderous thug named Baby Jesus, 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.

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
"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."
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.”
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.”
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.”
The Barnes & Noble Review
“A delirious caper in the spirit of Hiaasen and Leonard.”
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.”
Shelf Awareness
“Whiplash River is nonstop action, filled with humor, plot twists and even romance . . a hilarious crime caper spanning the globe.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062115294
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
07/10/2012
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
63,804
File size:
889 KB

What People are Saying About This

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.”
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.”

Meet the Author

Lou Berney is the author of two previous novels—Whiplash River, nominated for an Edgar Award, and Gutshot Straight, nominated for a Barry Award-as well as the collection The Road to Bobby Joe and Other Stories. A television and film screenwriter, he also teaches writing at the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma City University.

Customer Reviews

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Whiplash River 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 62 reviews.
Twink More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Normal_Reader More than 1 year ago
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!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good read! Enjoyable story, but not as good as first one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great seqel. Looking forward to the next book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
First time I read a book by this author . I probably will buy book by him in the future.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good writing and interesting plot.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Take a story with unrealistic characters and the only thing tying the plot together are unbelievable coincidences and you have this book. I found true fantasy stories more believable than this story. There was some occasional interesting action but when the author did not know how to carry the plot forward, he threw in some change of unimaginable events.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Quite enjoyable.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
321 pages. Murder mystery. Adult topics. An over abundance of characters. Book two of a series. Free Friday offering. Mystery solved, but conclusion will be continued into next book. Lots of action. Lots of details. Not chick lit. Enjoyable. The reviewer, Twink, told the entire plot. What a shame. AD
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I never did find the non-stop humor in this book, as promised by both the Editorial reviews and most of the reader reviews. It did seem to be (as suggested by another reviewer) a few short stories patched together. It needs editing for punctuation and short choppy sentences. I gave it three stars instead of two, in case I'm wrong and everybody else is right.
m9r3v13w5 More than 1 year ago
I didn't read the first book but had no trouble getting into the characters. They are interesting and enjoyable. Lots of fun twists and turns in this one.
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Thoroughly enjoyed
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Story line, characters, well crafted. I enjoyed from beginning to end.
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