Wednesday 22 February 2017



Hobbs is a professional thief who takes on a heist even though the money doesn't match the risk....but the woman behind the job does. It's a bad play that blows his world apart.

This novella is a prequel to THE SOAK, a searing crime novel that introduces an exhilarating new voice in noir fiction that’s as sharp, cruel, and relentless as the story’s unforgettable hero.

A quick and exciting 29 page read from a new-to-me author courtesy of Brash Books (and my wife – who is signed up to receive the publishers’ newsletter. The Lucky Dime being a February FREEBIE.)

I do like novels and stories featuring thieves and Patrick McLean’s man Hobbs is an interesting addition to my gang of favourites – Max Allan Collins and his character Nolan, Garry Disher’s Wyatt, Westlake/Stark’s Dortmunder and Parker to mention a few.

Hobbs has a sidekick here Brogna, who provides a bit of muscle and some solid back-up. The job itself is a take-down of a family laundry business, planned by one of the owners. Teddy Ida is dissatisfied with his sibling, Ervin and his running of the chain of laundries. Teddy’s fed-up being ignored and fancies a bit of pay back.

Add Grace, Teddy’s current floozy to the mix – a floozy he pinched from Ervin and who within half an hour of meeting Hobbs is get down and dirty with our thief and Teddy might be regretting getting some ideas above his station. Hobbs takes what he wants from who he wants, especially if they’re weak.

Sexual tension, violence, confrontation, a bit of safe blowing, a plan thwarted and a twist in the tale. Book buying embargo or not, I’m tempted to check out The Soak a bit later in the year.

Hobbs is my kind of character and Patrick E. McLean an author I reckon I’d enjoy in the longer format.

4.5 from 5

Patrick McLean has his website here. Not too sure where he originally hails from which is a bit frustrating for my OCD reading stats.

Read in February, 2017
Source - Brash Books Freebie
Published - 2017
Length – 29 pages

Format - Kindle


  1. Sounds like an interesting context for a heist story, Col. And the family dynamics just make it sound even more suspenseful. Glad you enjoyed it.

    1. Margot, there's was a lot of substance packed into a short novella/long short story. Really enjoyable - just what the doctor ordered!

  2. Sounds right up your street. When you go for the full-length one you can try to persuade me.

  3. Thanks for the great review of THE LUCKY DIME. Please post it on Amazon!

  4. Read your review. Read an excerpt. Bought the book. Looks like a good one. Thanks, Col.

    1. Elgin, I hope it ticks all the boxes for you.

    2. You sure were right - McLean nails it. Fun read. Look forward to reading more of his work. Thanks.

    3. I'm glad you liked it Elgin. He has penned a few other titles, but not much crime until now.

  5. Sounds fun.

    I do wish people would settle on a modern meaning for the term "novella." Any novel of less than 200 pages tends to get called a novella these days, even when most of them quite manifestly aren't: they're full-length novels, dammit, that fail to accord to the modern fashion for obese books. At the other end of the scale, it seems a tad optimistic to call something 29 pages long a novella. A novelette, perhaps?

    Mutter, mutter. It was all so much better in my day . . .

  6. Sounds was,

    I know what you mean, especially about obese books - less is often more in my book.
    There ought to be some sort of sliding scale
    short story 1-25
    novellette 26-80
    novella 81-120
    novel 121-350
    self-indulgency(time to shut up) 351 plus

    1. That's roughly the classification system the SFWA uses, and similarly the Hugo Awards -- I can't recall the details offhand, but their scales are along those lines.

  7. I do agree with the complaints about some definition of length for short story, novella, novelette.

    Sounds like this is an author to try someday.

    1. I think you might enjoy him Tracy, if you ever cross paths with his work.

  8. This one sounds like a breeze, Col, I mean in terms of a quick read. And it packs quite a punch.