Fast Bang Booze
Lawrence Maddox, author
After seeing Frank deliver an impressive ass kicking in a bar fight, Russian mobster Popov hires him to be his driver. What Popov doesn't know is that when Frank is sober, he's inhumanly fast, deadly, and mute; when Frank is on the sauce, he's a useless twenty-something wiseass. Double-crossed in a drug deal gone bad, Frank and Popov have one night to recover their stolen cash or get wiped off the map. Frank's special abilities put him in the spotlight, and he struggles to keep it all together as Calendar, a dangerous Latina model, and Janie, a burgeoning love interest, go along for the ride. Fast Bang Booze is a beat-the-clock thrill-ride that races through 1993 Los Angeles to a rollicking, deadly climax.
Frank, the unimposing 24-year-old narrator of Maddox’s fast-paced novella set in 1990s L.A., has a “nervous system that’s souped-up like an engine with sixteen valves per cylinder and turbocharged to boot.” It makes the world appear to be in slow motion. This impediment, as he calls it, comes in handy when he’s attacked in a bar. An extraordinarily fast and brutal fighter, he easily dispatches his oversized assailant, who’s left crying on the floor. A Russian drug dealer named Popov, impressed by Frank’s lightning-quick takedown, offers him a job. Broke and unemployed, Frank readily accepts. The position gives Frank plenty of chances to make use of his unique skills as he tries to help his new boss recover the more than $1 million ripped off in a drug deal gone bad. Despite Frank’s lack of endearing qualities (he’s introduced sitting in a pool of his own “whiz, puke, and blood”), Maddox manages to keep readers interested in how his story plays out, up until the enigmatic and tantalizing conclusion. Fans of offbeat noir will have fun. (BookLife)