The Smack
Richard Lange
Mulholland Books 2017
352 pages

The Smack by Richard Lange is everything you want in fun thriller. The main character is interesting, the situation he finds himself in is original and keeps you on your toes, the plot developments are all warranted and all move the story forward, and the writing is elegant without being showy. Richard Lange is a writer you will want to collect. The Smack: A Novel on Kindle

Rowan Petty is a con artist most adept at phone and internet scams. He finds himself down on his luck in Reno and his next scheme seems far away. An old acquaintance puts him on the scent of some two million dollars smuggled from Afghanistan and just waiting to be plucked in Los Angeles. Petty might just be the right guy to do the plucking. Of course, if it sounds too good to be true it is probably fraught with danger too and that is the case here.

Petty teams up with a hooker and comes up with a scheme to outwit the schemers holding the loot. Where Lange excels in in the plotting and the secondary characters that show up quite believably and end up becoming part of Petty’s master plan. Richard Lange also adroitly handles a tense relationship with Petty’s estranged daughter, a soldier back from Afghanistan out to eliminate his partners and the competition, and some ghosts from the past.

Part of The Smack’s charm is it is a lightweight read both because it is so well written the reader can just let go and enjoy the ride and in the sense there is no terrorist conspiracy or madman on the loose and violence is kept to a minimum.

The Smack by Richard Lange is a sweet read I cannot recommend enough.