Floodgate: A Novel by Johnny Shaw
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Down and out ex-cop Andy Destra uncovers a decades old conspiracy that will shake Auction City to its core. Who really runs the city and how does it connect to how Andy was booted off the force?
I got this from Netgalley.
New Johnny Shaw books don't fall out of the sky every day and I jumped at this one the instant Shelby tipped me to it being on Netgalley and dropped what I was doing to read it.
However, things were off to a rocky start. I was discouraged for the first 10%. The plot moved slowly and gone was the trademark Johnny Shaw wit. My motivation flagged. My lady friend urged me to continue despite my misgivings, noting that I'm a crabby bastard when I don't get my reading time. As in most things, she was right. I stuck with it and things really took off.
Floodgate is the story of the people behind the curtain, the people that keep Auction City's various factions from killing one another and destroying the city. In a way, Auction City reminds me of a modern version of Deadwood and the people called Floodgate are Al Swearengen.
Andy Destra isn't too far from the usual Johnny Shaw leading man, a guy that many would consider a loser. However, he stands up for what he believes in despite being in way over his head. While I was bored by the book initially, Johnny Shaw really did a hefty amount of world building, with Rocco, The Flood, Kate, and the rest.
One of my favorite lines was "The last time he masturbated, he fantasized about a previous time he masturbated." Pure Shaw.
Anyway, the book was a slower build than Shaw's other work but had a bigger payoff in the form of the orgy of violence that was the last 30% of the book. While I wouldn't recommend this be anyone's first Johnny Shaw, it's a very solid book. Four out of five stars.
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