This Wicked World by Richard Lange

Fresh out of jail and trying to go straight, ex-bodyguard Jimmy Boone’s curiosity is piqued by a mauled pit bull, leading him to a cache of counterfeit money, a pissed-off stripper, and a conman looking to retire at any cost.

I wasn’t sure that I would like This Wicked World, being that I typically prefer British crime novels written by women to American crime novels of any kind. It did not take long for me to get totally sucked into the book, however, mainly because Richard Lange tells one helluva story.

Formerly a bodyguard to the rich and famous, Jimmy Boone is working as a bartender and a building superintendent while on parole after beating a client half to death. He’s trying to keep his nose clean, but when he helps the bouncer at his bar try to get answers for the grandfather of a dead young Mexican man, Boone winds up bringing home a badly injured pit bull whose teeth have all been forcibly extracted. He decides to do a little digging on his own and soon he’s in one wicked world of trouble.

You can’t help but feel sympathy for a guy who rescues a dog that’s been so mistreated. Boone really wants to tread the straight and narrow, in sharp contrast with most of the rest of the characters. It’s a sad story, and a dark story, but it’s not a story that glamorizes the criminal life at all. I really appreciated that Lange was up to something deeper than just guns and goons. I wish Superfast Husband had more time for books because I know he’d really like this one.

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