Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Strange Bedfellows by Rob Byrnes

Reviewer: Bob Lind, Echo Magazine
Pubisher: Bold Strokes Books, September 2012
Pages: 264


Just in time for the November elections is this amusing novel about a crime scam built on political backstabbing, "sexting" and internet gossip bloggers. 

Austin Peebles has the political support, looks and charisma to win his first election to Congress. Unfortunately, he unwisely snaps a picture of his genitals, e-mails it to the wrong place, and it is forwarded to a conservative blogger who is threatening to publish it, which would ruin his career. His mother-in-law, also in Congress, insists her aide (who is also Austin's campaign manager) hire someone to prevent that from happening.

Enter the gang of gay and lesbian petty thieves, con artists, misfits, a bungling barfly, and a larcenous soccer mom - originally introduced in Byrnes' two previous novels - who agree to take on the job. Led by Grant and his partner Chase, they plan to infiltrate the office and apartment of the blogger, and cart off any computer or smart phone on which the image may be stored. Unfortunately, there's more to this than they are led to believe, and the job becomes more complicated, forcing them to utilize additional help, including a young man who dresses up in superhero costumes. 

Byrnes delivers his usual well-written, very amusing, fast-paced story-telling, getting his characters into seemingly improbably scenarios, but with a thread of realism and NYC-centric flavor that makes it seem possible, as well as wildly entertaining. (I'm still having nightmares about Argentine Leaping Bedbugs!) Five stars out of five. 



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