A fast, powerful read full of action, twists, and dark humour
Bounty Hunter Karl Morgen goes after Miro Knotts on a skipped bond, finding the dope dealer wrapped around an underaged girl at a rave in Seattle. Dragging Miro in the hard way gets Karl's licence revoked, while Miro gets off with a suspended sentence. Karl then finds work as a process server in Vancouver, thinking it's the kind of place where people settle things with middle fingers instead of guns.
But the city is teeming with two-bit criminals, drug dealers, and gangsters, and Miro seizes an opportunity to settle his score with Karl while working a major drug deal. What follows is a ride through Vancouver's underbelly with a cast of characters whose ambition exceeds their criminal acumen. With dialogue that crackles on the page, Ride the Lightning introduces a new voice in crime fiction featuring grit, realism, and a comedic touch.
Ride the Lightning encapsulates all the things I love about my reading……….characters, setting, story, pace, humour and a level of violence. I may be in a minority but I love meeting low-level criminals in my fiction…….drugs addicts, car thieves, pot growers, bouncers, enforcers, strippers, bikers – basically all round scumbags and losers. To me this type of person is a hundred times more interesting than the straight Joe – boring 9 to 5 office dude who goes home at 5.30 every evening to the wife and the home cooked meal. Who wants to read about themselves?
Dietrich Kalteis nails it in his first book.
Characters – tick….. all interesting, funny and entertaining. Not many are sympathetic or likeable, but enough of them so you know which side you’re rooting for.
Story – tick…. drug dealers, some looking to move up, some looking to get out at the top of the game, one with skewed objectives and firmly fixated on revenge and an ex-bounty hunter looking to settle in, find a bit of romance and perhaps deliver some payback if the opportunity arises.
Setting – tick, Seattle and Vancouver – two places I’ve never visited, two places I’m unlikely ever to visit, two places I feel like I’ve been to thanks to the author.
Pace – tick…. there’s a cadence to the narrative that keeps the story ticking along….short, snappy chapters, that constantly changes the focus of the reader, before a fitting climax.
Humour – tick….. great scenes, great dialogue – whether it’s a mother and daughter arguing over using college funds for a boob-job, or our bounty hunter chatting to the criminal king-pin whilst he basks on a nudist beach applying oil to his wrinkly bits.
Incredibly difficult to believe that this is a first novel. Mr Kalteis has acquired himself a reader for life.
5 from 5
Dietrich Kalteis has a website here.
Many thanks to Jenna at ECW Press and Dietrich for sending this one to me. ECW’s website is here. Ride the Lightning is recommended and available!