Michigan Roll

Michigan Roll_TomKakonis_3610602



Several weeks ago I read a review of this book that likened it somewhat to the works of Elmore Leonard. Since I like Leonard’s works, was actually reading an Elmore Leonard book at the time, and was intrigued by the review, I checked the book out from the library as it is not currently available as an e-book.

Oh, what a mistake that was!

There truly are similarities to Leonard’s works, particularly in the way Kakonis does not hesitate to use racially denigrating remarks, sexually degrading terms and really inventive profanity. And like Elmore Leonard, Kakonis’ main villains are psychopaths, drug kingpins and mobsters. And again like Leonard, the protagonists are seriously flawed.

However, unlike Leonard, Kakonis does not give the reader a break in either the vocabulary or the psychosis. There is no humor here at all, no lightness, not even a momentary smile to break the viciousness that is in the minds, the speech and the actions of these characters, villains and protagonists alike.

Even though I often read psychological thrillers and hard-boiled mysteries, I only made it to page 43 in this one before I had to call it quits. In this book, there are two particularly nasty bad guys, Shadow and Gleep, who have been dispatched by a drug kingpin to recover some product stolen by our female protagonist’s brother.

I made it through their aggressive sexual observations at the beach; I made it through the expressive verbal threats they made to an apartment manager. I made it through the threats of sexual torture and Shadow’s use of his knife on a female friend of the brother. Then Shadow and Gleep beat the brother’s roommate senseless, trying to get information on the brother. I got through that. But, after getting the information, Shadow forces the roommate’s hand into the garbage disposal and turns it on. When Kakonis described the bone chips and the blood spraying up into the sink, I couldn’t take anymore. I lost it – my patience, my open-mindedness and my dinner. I slammed the book shut and read not another word. Frankly, if this was where we were on page 43, I just couldn’t imagine the depth of the depravity I would have to read through before reaching the end on page 288.

I read for enjoyment, not to be made violently ill or emotionally distraught. And when I say that this book is not for the feint of heart, I know whereof I speak. Apparently, today, my heart was feint.

Cover Art from Goodreads


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