By Walt Sautter
A group of thugs are committing extortion in a back country small town. A group of sixty something guys, all of whom have been shafted by the system, the law, or otherwise, decide to do something. How do they get rid of the bodies is the question. What happens, though, when the plan to take care of a group of bad guys gets extended to take revenge on an individual?
For the most part, I think the plot is good. How it played out could have been better. I thought more of the side characters could have been more involved and it might have been interesting to see a group of punks go up against a group of guys past middle age who use their intelligence and guile. Part of of that happened, but not enough of it to bring the story up a level.
Jack: widower with daughter, late 60s, fit, a bit of gray hair, smokes cigars
Petey: drives a ‘92 Pontiac, 68, balding, portly
Larry Fine: burly, ex military, white pony tail, scarred cheek, has a dog, runs a fishing operation
Hal: tall, black, limps, ex military
The main guys, except for Larry, don’t have last names.
I thought the personalities and backgrounds were fine. As mentioned above, though, I thought everybody would be more involved. Jack is the main character and he does most of the work, the scheming. Yes, Petey and Larry help. Hal is sort of left out of the picture. The trio, with Larry as a clean up guy, could have made for a cool team, but they weren’t used that way. Then other characters got into the mix.
Pretty good. Larry’s voice comes through. Conversations stay on track. A bit of story telling, but they don’t run long and have relevance.
Lots of profanity.
Written in present tense. I don’t mind a story in present tense, but the problem is...the word is. When one writes in present tense, descriptions and actions tend to overuse the present form of to be. He is walking. He is sitting. Stuff is hanging on the wall. When this word is used, ‘ing’ words also get used. With present tense, the author must be aware of this and find ways around it. More ‘s’ at the end of verbs will help. He walks. He sits. Stuff hangs… To constantly fall back on ‘is’ gets old and becomes weak.
I mention this because this story uses a lot of is phraseology.
This is a relatively short story and it could have been longer with more scheming and planning and then bring in the extension of the plan to include a personal revenge.
There is an interesting twist at the end that I didn’t coming. This serves as a ‘climax’ of sorts, because otherwise, there was none. The final battle between the guys and the thugs didn’t happen and the aftermath of the thugs wasn’t mentioned. Did they disband or continue their extortion?
A quick read.