Verdict: The book’s ending, along with much of the storyline and character development, is quite unexpected and wholly satisfying.
A tired, old Russian mobster—ready to retire—is forced to continue after his family is kidnapped by his boss, in this fast-paced thriller that often defies the conventions of the genre.
The plot of “Just Run” centers on Abbott Poker, an online establishment that’s been rigging the game, so that $60 million a year is siphoned from players.
Rene Carter, a math professor from Ohio, discovers the game’s discrepancy and intends to publish her findings. The mathematician assisting her is murdered, and upon discovering the body, Rene herself is almost killed. That’s when Detective Trent Schaefer, from the Ohio Attorney General’s office, shows up to investigate.
Consider a suspect, Rene takes off with Trent, running from police and the Russians, who want to stop publication of the poker expose. Rounding off the cast of characters is Anatole, who is ready to call it quits, and his partner, Victor, a rouge FBI agent with a drug problem. Victor’s boss, Gregor, is the vicious, greedy son of Arman, who is the creator of the illegal gambling scheme.
The story, told from Rene and Anatole’s viewpoints, employs a straight-ahead style, with detailed descriptions of the character’s actions and destinations—from breaking into cars to utilizing safe houses. (Rene is particularly adept, using survival skills learned from her poker-playing father). Culver is not shy about knocking off his characters—both the good and the bad guys.
The book’s ending, along with much of the storyline and character development, is quite unexpected and wholly satisfying.
Reviewed by Joe DelPriore