By S. G. Browne
Nick Monday, San Francisco private detective, is also a luck poacher. He has the ability to take other people’s luck, process it, and sell it. Unfortunately this day is not to be a lucky one for him. First he gets hired by a woman claiming to be the mayor’s daughter to retrieve her father’s luck. Then he is bullied by two federal agents to give a Mafia boss some bad luck. Then the Mafia King wants Nick under his employment. Oh, and let’s not forget about another enigmatic scooter riding girl with whom Nick would very much like to get acquainted. Nick soon finds out bad luck and past actions have a way of catching up with him.
I love the concept. It’s a strange idea but Browne lays it out very nicely. This is an intricate plot with a lot going on but Browne keeps it straight.
Nick Monday: private investigator in San Francisco, luck poacher, real name is Aaron, 33, , likes routine, not a believer in heaven or hell, eats Lucky charms and likes Mentos, apple fritters and cappuccinos and mochas, mother died in a car accident when he was nine, emotionally estranged from his father, came from Tuscon three years ago, likes brunettes and attracts female baristas, sister is also adept at luck poaching but quit, never good at…(lots of things: geography, tact, finesse, making decisions, irony, idioms, etc.)
Scooter Girl: cute, clear skin, delicate jaw, drives a scooter
Doug, aka ‘Bow Wow’: gangsta rapper wannabe, Nick’s under-the-table assistant, Irish/Italian, superstitious, father died when Doug was ten
Wonderful characters. Unique. Even the bad guys. Sure, some of them are the usual cast from detective novels, but their descriptions aren’t. Thug One, Barry Manilow, Tuesday Knight. The names are great and their quirks are heightened by Nick’s view of them.
Nick is the wise cracking PI. The thugs are typically thuggie quiet. The bad guy, the sister, the femme fatales…all have their distinctive voices.
First person from Nick’s POV, present tense. The majority of the story takes place in a single day. Lots of similes and stories of lucky incidents from history to relate to present day. Browne did some good research to throw in factoids every so often. A few unnecessary bits of profanity. Lots of humor, including many lines about sex. Very well presented. Fairly quick read. Very enjoyable. I hope to Nick Monday again.