Verdict: Author Peter B. Sellers has created a terrific sense of place in JATE’S BOY, while also delivering snappy dialogue and thrilling intrigue.
JATE’S BOY opens with a bang – literally – with a character winding down after a “face-to-face kill.” It continues with its fast plot for the remainder of the novel, introducing a large cast of intriguing characters. It is far too easy for a mob thriller to become a paint by numbers collection of stereotypes. Author Peter B. Sellers, however, has gathered a quirky group of vivid characters, including the put-upon Michael Butler, his horse racing champion love Sophia, and the seductress-for-hire Kim Powers. It is particularly impressive that the female characters feel so fully fleshed out and complex.
One of the most exciting components of a book like JATE’S BOY is the surprising machinations of scheming characters – leaving the reader guessing as to who is playing who, and why. This novel will keep anyone guessing about loyalties and plots until the very end, and the finale offers a satisfying conclusion. The love and greed that drive many of the characters are believable and constantly shifting, and the reactions of the characters to one another rarely hits a false note. The only issue is that the plot occasionally becomes too crowded, making it challenging to keep all of the relevant characters straight.
Short chapters jump around to different locations and character perspectives, with helpful labels introducing each shift. The author has created a terrific sense of place, with settings ranging from sketchy city streets, to rural farmhouses, to prison cells. The entire story is set against a theme of competitive harness racing, and readers can expect a deep-dive into the workings of this unique world. While certain chapters dedicated to racing can become tiresome and present more detail than is necessary, overall the author’s passion for the topic shines through and sets this novel apart from run of the mill thrillers.
Author Peter B. Sellers has created a terrific sense of place in JATE’S BOY, while also delivering snappy dialogue and thrilling intrigue.
~Jennifer Dixon for IndieReader