Friday, October 2, 2015

What Happens in Reno / Mike Monson

Reviewed by: BigAl

Genre: Noir/Crime Fiction

Approximate word count: 20-25,000 words

Kindle US: YES UK: YES Nook: NO  Smashwords: NO  Paper: YES
Click on a YES above to go to appropriate page in Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Smashwords store


Along with Chris Rhatigan, Mike Monson is the editor of the crime e-zine, All Due Respect. He and Rhatigan also jointly run the small publisher All Due Respect Books.


Matt Hodges is not a good husband. He’s unemployed, a drunk, and a compulsive gambler. His wife Lydia has basically written him off. However, with a small inheritance coming, Matt promised Lydia he’d not only pay for the cosmetic surgery she craves, but that he’d also get them out of debt. Unfortunately for Lydia, as soon as the check is cashed, Matt heads for Reno to try his hand at high-stakes poker, and to stay as drunk as possible for as long as possible. Meanwhile, back home in Modesto, Lydia plots with a local violent criminal (who happens to be her new lover) to find Matt and get the cash for themselves before it’s all gone. What happens when they all finally meet in Reno will be our little secret, okay?”


When I asked Google for a definition of the word noir, it came up with this:

A genre of crime film or fiction characterized by cynicism, fatalism, and moral ambiguity.

That definition nails it, at least when considering What Happens in Reno. I normally feel that a reader needs to like at least one of the main characters in a book and none of the people who inhabit this fast-paced tale are very likeable. Yet, I still enjoyed the read, wondering where the story was going, only sensing that it wasn't going to be a pretty ending. And boy, what an incredible ending it was. What Happens in Reno should hit the mark for noir and crime fiction fans.


Adult language and situations.

Format/Typo Issues:

No significant issues.

Rating: ***** Five Stars


Monson said...

Thanks so much for reading Reno. I'm very glad you enjoyed it.

Ordalie said...

I enjoyed it too but God, what an ending!

BooksAndPals said...

I know what you mean, Ordalie. If there is any question that noir is dark ...