Thursday, 29 September 2016

DAVID PUTNAM - THE SQUANDERED (2015)


Synopsis/blurb....

The Squandered propels Bruno into an emotionally charged high-speed chase as he and Marie leave their rescued kids in Costa Rica and risk returning to the U.S. at the request of Bruno's terminally ill father. Bruno's estranged and incarcerated brother needs Bruno to help rescue his abducted young grandchildren, children that Bruno hadn't known existed. 

Bruno cannot deny his father, and Marie will not let Bruno go alone. As fugitives, they return to the U.S. to face not only imminent arrest, but also to confront ruthless kidnappers, drug dealers, and government agents who will stop at nothing to keep a secret from the past buried forever. 

Glimpses of Bruno's law enforcement past shed light on the mayhem they encounter once they are discovered in L.A. It seems that Bruno's brother, Noble, has inadvertently kicked a hornet's nest of criminals, both in and out of prison, and among various law enforcement agencies looking to find a long missing load of nine million dollars' worth of cocaine. And Noble's grandchildren are caught in the cross-hairs. 

The chase, the brutality, and the emotional stress tests Bruno and Marie's relationship and forces them to define family, a what's okay to forgive, and what should never be forgotten. Armed with a new moral code, will they live long enough to put it into practice?

The third book in David Putnam's Bruno Johnson series and another fast-paced romp.

Johnson risks his and partner Marie's freedom when returning to the States from Costa Rica again, in order to help his brother's family. A brother he hasn't seen for 25 years or so, the brother he helped imprison back when he was a cop.

Noble Johnson's grandchildren have been kidnapped and Bruno's the man to get them back.

I liked the book overall, though a fraction less maybe than the earlier books in the series.
Putnam's characters are convincing and you can feel the passion and love Bruno has for Marie, his father and his "adopted" children.

We get more of his back-story and how a childhood friend became a brother. A brother that made some bad choices and took a wrong turn in life - but now has put aside the bitterness of the years and reached out to Bruno. Can he be trusted or is Bruno getting played?

Kidnapped kids, love of family, forgiveness, California's drug Kingpin, rogue cops, an old gangster feud, a stash of diamonds, missing coke, jail-time, old enemies resurfacing, jeopardy, a true-crime best selling book, assistance from some old friends and more........ all leading up to a satisfying resolution with a twist.

Plenty of action to go with the more thoughtful moments regarding love and family. Slight suspension of disbelief at a few of the situations Bruno and Marie found themselves in and got themselves out of - though no out and out flying pig moments.

Overall I was entertained and was keen to see how things got resolved.

4 from 5

The earlier books in the series have been read and enjoyed - The Disposables and The Replacements.

There's a fourth book out early next year - The Vanquished.

Dave Putnam has his website here.

The author was kind enough to send me a copy for review.








14 comments:

  1. Sounds as though there are several interesting plot layers there, Col. Add in a fast pace and the characters and I can see why you liked this as well as you did. Glad it worked for you.

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  2. I do like this series - you can read the book alone, but there's kind of incremental developments in the relationships of the reappearing characters which appeal. A fast pace and a fair bit of action as well - so I'm happy!

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  3. Sounds fun. What's the significance of the book title shown in the cover pic?

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    1. At a guess, I suppose the title relates to the adopted brother, who had the same opportunities and upbringing (for the most part) that Bruno had, but he made the wrong choices and squandered the opportunity to enjoy seeing and being a part of his own family growing up.

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    2. I meant the title, "A Noble Sacrifice," of the book depicted in the cover pic.

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    3. Doh......fuck me I'm an idiot!

      Noble - the imprisoned brother - gets himself an education inside and writes a book highlighting his previous life as a gangbanger etc and the book when published attracts some attention especially concerning $9m-worth of missing coke and diamonds. Which is the raison d-etre for his grandkids getting kidnapped and Bruno having to come to LA and save the day by springing him from the joint so the Mr Big can get his hands on the goodies. Summed up in 50 words it seems a tad preposterous and a bit of a stretch, which is kind of maybe why I liked it a little bit less than the earlier two. I still enjoyed it overall.

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    4. Thanks for the explanation, Col!

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    1. Well worth a look at at least one Dave Putnam's books. Without putting you off totally, I preferred the earlier two to this one if I'm being totally honest.

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  5. Col, this sounds like a family enterprise in spite of the gritty plot and hardboiled characters. An innovative storyline, no doubt.

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    1. Prashant, it was an unusual set-up TBH. I liked it - ticks in a lot of boxes.

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  6. This sounds like a good series, although maybe too high in the brutality and tension level. I would want to start from the beginning, so if I run into that one I will give it a try.

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    1. I think the story ARC means you would get more out of the series starting at the beginning. Not essential though if you only want to dip into one book from him. Brutality and tension is prevalent.

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