Over the holiday period I read Declan Burke's novel The Big O.
Frank a crap plastic surgeon has problems, with an ex wife, twin daughters, and the medical ethics committee, all on his back. His golf is not too good either.
He decides to arrange the kidnapping of his ex wife Madge, in an insurance scam, and pocket the ransom money less the kidnappers' fee.
Frank's receptionist Karen moonlights sticking up gas stations, and during one of these stick- ups meets hunky Ray, a decorator, who happens to be also the designated kidnapper of Madge. Madge and Karen are friends and Karen's ex boyfriend Rossi Francis Assisi Callaghan is just out of the slammer and is looking for Karen, his 44, his Ducatti and his stash.
Frank is then mugged by Rossi and cop Stephanie Doyle enters the scene and develops a thing for Ray. Then Doug, Frank's insurance broker,who is sleeping with Madge gets in the way of a golf ball hit by Frank.......
Confused no way, and I haven't even introduced Anna yet.
Rossi's partner in crime is called Sleeps because he suffers from narcolepsy, but I can guarantee you won't fall asleep reading The Big O.
This book is a blunt, rude, crude, politically incorrect, raucus, rumbustious, rollicking, romp of a crime caper novel. The characters are larger than life and the action is convoluted and non-stop. I certainly admire the chutzpah of Declan in writing this, because among all the other stuff....
"He actually said he'd staple your tits together?"....Doyle thinking how they'd need to be big staples,.....
there is a lot of wit and wisdom.
That was when it finally dawned on him: it's not the way a woman looks, it's the way she looks at you.
And other gems:
"And you've trained for this? Done courses and shit?"
"Believe it. At the university of fucking hard knocks."
"So you're not actually, y'know, qualified."........
"See, this is the beauty of it," Rossi said. "Know what kind of qualifications you need to start a charity?"
The Big O is a loveable rogue of a novel and while it is not literature you will have a lot more fun reading it than some labyrinthine incomprehensible Booker prize winner.