The Fish House Gang
by Kenneth L. Funderburk
Archway Publishing

"Victor rarely suffered from the drug of reflective thinking. He didn’t have time for that kind of psychosocial bull crap."

The Panhandle of Florida and the waters that surround it are the primary locales for this tale of mayhem, murder, and money. Good old boys, nefarious businessmen, Mexican cartels, and Boston gangsters intertwine as their best-laid plans and schemes run headlong into human imperfections. The results are bad times, botched jobs, and lost lives as everybody scrambles to protect ill-gotten gains.

Players in this torrid tale run the gamut of sun-soaked oddities. There’s Randall, a beer-swilling tough guy with more muscle than brains. His defective heist-and-hit starts a series of events that eventually cause havoc locally, regionally, and internationally. There’s Chic, a mystical opera-singing psychologist and part-time police consultant who uses his powers of deduction and prowess with automatic weapons whenever the occasion calls for it. There’s Suzy, a bombshell physical education instructor. Initially, she’s into multiple sex partners until witnessing a murder, becoming a potential murder victim, and an attraction to Chic make her begin to re-evaluate life, love, and even religion. A crazy coterie of characters rounds out the cast—many of whom seem on loan from Elmore Leonard’s mischievous mind.

The author sprinkles his pragmatic prose with witty asides and dashes of humor that keep the malevolent goings-on from getting overly gory. The pace of his novel picks up as both the planned and unplanned events of the participants begin to multiply exponentially. Dialogue is salty without being indigestible. Violence is occasionally intense and also impactful. Funderburk fills his plot with what seems an encyclopedic knowledge of money laundering schemes that adds an aura of authenticity to the underworld’s financial finagling. This is definitely a novel for those who like their crime yarns fast and fun with just a smidgeon of kinky.

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