If there is a tagline for Lock Tourmaline, the hero of Point and Shoot, it would be “That man is an asshole!” G. D. Baum is new to the literary world and in this, his first book, he introduces us to his main character Lock. Lock has the uncanny ability to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Lock is an ex-cop, turned private investigator, who luckily is also a karate expert, which is good because almost no one seems to like him.
Mr. Baum has created an interesting book, made more so with a main character who has the uncanny ability to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. I am still not quite sure, however, how to categorize it correctly. Typical for this genre of writing, parts of it contain the time-honored dialogue of the jaded and ever-familiar ex-cop turned PI character:
- I stood there. The smart thing would have been to come back later. But I didn’t like this creep. First, he was in her life and I was not. Second, he had just closed the door in my face. And third, most importantly, he clearly had something to do with what had gone on last night.
Other parts relate to martial arts techniques, which my research shows are very accurate, no doubt a result of the author's acknowledged background in karate.
Yet another theme running though the book is a love story; when Lock is not battling the bad guys he is looking after his girlfriend, dying from cancer, and her 15-year old daughter.
In Point and Shoot we meet a number of highly entertaining characters. Lock’s mentor in the martial arts is an aging bouncer for a sexual bondage club with the catchy nickname of Grandfather. His ex-wife is a cokehead who has connections with a New Jersey crime family. A variety of other characters, not exactly pillars of society, round out the motley cast.
At the beginning of the book we are introduced to Lock, and his not-so-easy life. He has recently retired from the police force in favor of opening up a couple of Karate schools, one run by Lock himself, and the other run by his ex-cop friend Cho. Unfortunately, this does not quite pay the bills. In order to make ends meet Lock also acts as a sometime bodyguard for a member of one of the shadier crime families in the area.
Lock is asked to help out in providing security for a summit between the two major crime lords in the area meeting to discuss the turf wars. It does not take much rocket science to figure out that the meeting will end badly. One dead, and several injured later, everyone involved is screaming for retribution.
Our hero still has some policeman in him, and decides to don his recently retired Glock Nine, and investigate. In doing so, Lock stirs up a veritable vipers nest, and the action is fast and furious.
If you love a good PI story, this book will be for you. I personally thought that there was maybe too much dialogue; some of the dialogue could have been better served with descriptive passages.
If you are looking for a quick, fun read, try Point and Shoot. This is a very popular genre of writing and I am sure that it will do well.