Sunday 30 June 2019



Jackson Sharp is a former guitar player fresh out of the Oklahoma State Penitentiary. He's on a mission to settle the score with his dead beat dad, but needs to collect some cash from his younger brother and former bandmate, Jamie. He finds Jamie at his struggling Tulsa record shop, but the cash is long gone. Jamie offers up a heist instead—steal a rare copy of a pre-Beatles 45 from a wealthy collector in Memphis. The road trip that follows is the violent family/band reunion that Jackson never wanted.

My second outing with S.W. Lauden's work after Crosswise was enjoyed a couple of years ago. This time around it's an offering that's shorter and faster  - a 78 versus an old LP - and one I found more enjoyable.

An ex-con, one with a plan for revenge burning bright in his belly, a fractured family, music, sour memories, shared history, a band, guitar playing, a break-up, a jail sentence, ill-gotten gains, a reluctant road trip, a plan for a power pop heist, a gig, a meeting with old friends, an obsessed collector, a bungled robbery, a reunion gig, a comeback in the offing and a reconciliation along with some peace.

A fast-pace to this one, 70-odd pages, so a one-sitting read. An ex-con and a heist - my cup of tea. Plenty of music as a back-drop - some bands and titles I was familiar with, others less so. The heist centres around a rare Beatles record.

There's also a delving into the world of obsessive collecting and the kind of madness it inspires. Reminded me of me and my books, to a slightly lesser degree.

There's also plenty about family and resentment and upset and fractures, with a resolution involving forgiveness, understanding and a willingness to let the bitterness go. Sage advice wrapped up in some solid reading.

4 from 5

I'll have to bump Lauden's Crossed Bones up the TBR pile.

Read - June, 2019
Published - 2019
Page count - 74
Source - Kindle Unlimited
Format - kindle


  1. This one appeals to me right away, Col, because of the music context. Record stores, bands, guitars....yeah, those get my attention. The story sounds solidly plotted, too. Glad you enjoyed it.

    1. Margot, I did think the musical backdrop might grab your attention! I wasn't wrong!

  2. I'm definitely interested in this one. I'll have to see if it's available on Smashwords.

  3. Yes,the music content attracts me too - I like the sound of this one.

    1. Boom, not too dear on kindle I don't believe.