Today’s team review is from Noelle.
Noelle blogs here https://saylingaway.wordpress.com
Noelle has been reading Easy Street – The Reluctant Hustler Book 3 by J Gregory Smith
Although this can be a stand-alone novel, I reread the first chapter trying to make sense of place and past events. I think a clear intro or prologue would have helped my confusion or perhaps a directive to read the previous two books first.
The story, as I perceive it: Kyle Logan is the unwitting inheritor of a dubious business, shady contacts, and a house following the death of his friend Ryan. Two years later Kyle has divested himself of most of that part of that business involving illegal hustles and is now the head of a company called Global Imported Crafts, a legitimate business run out of the city’s port and managed by Ali. In addition he has become the de facto leader of a band of misfits. Together they work just outside the law to help people who have nowhere else to turn, which means they occasionally work with the city’s Irish mob to get things done. This involves favors. Every favor Kyle calls in results in yet another obligation, at a time when he is trying to rebuild his life and go legit.
The characters are well enough described: Sandy, Kyle’s girlfriend is a physical therapist; Rollie is a retired Marine sniper; and VP is a super hacker. The reader is introduced to how this group works when they are asked by Sandy to do something about crooked lawyer Clark LeSuer, who has been fleecing customers out of their lawsuit settlements, one of whom is her client. Then Charlie and William O’ Brien enter the scene – two Irish thugs who are being squeezed by arch villain Milosh, head of an Albanian mob that is trying to take over the O’Brien’s territory. Kyle owes the O’Briens, but this time he may be in over his head, trying to help with too few hands on deck.
Caught between the two warring gangs, Kyle and his merry band face seemingly unsurmountable obstacles, and there is lots of lots of action, often violent. Background details are minimal but sufficient and carry the story. The only thing I found a little over the top were the names the gang assumed during an operation. They seemed more childish than integral.
Nevertheless, I did enjoy the read, after I’d parsed the story. It does not lack for action and clever plot twists. This yarn will definitely appeal to men who enjoy the crime genre. I’m not so sure about women.
Walking the Tightrope
Nearly two years after the death of his friend, Ryan, Kyle Logan finds himself the unlikely leader of a group of misfits who operate outside the law as they target crooks and scammers. In the past, Kyle had to rely on his friend’s shady contacts just to survive violent competitors and complete prior deals.
Now he’s starting to realize that these connections earn him power and respect but also drag him deeper into the life. Every favor he receives comes with strings and cutting those strings usually involves fresh obligations.
In order to help others who have nowhere else to turn, Kyle sometimes works with criminals like the Philly Irish Mob but he tries to avoid getting involved with the gangster’s more intense activities.
When not running his hustles, Kyle has taken the opportunity to leverage his connections to finance and acquire a legitimate (if dull) import facility at the Port of Philadelphia. The port represents a great opportunity to rebuild his life but he’s about to learn the hard way that shady friends come with enemies who see Kyle as one more obstacle to be crushed.