Repo Madness by W. Bruce Cameron

Repo MadnessRepo Madness

by W. Bruce Cameron
Series: Ruddy McCann, #2

Hardcover, 368 pg.
Forge Books, 2016

Read: September 7 – 8, 2016

I dropped Jake off at Kermit’s office before I headed out of town and tried to ignore how eager my dog was to leave the repo truck. ‘you know you belong to me,” I reminded him. He gave my hand an affectionate, reassuring lick. I think we both knew I was being condescended to by a basset hound.

Ahhh, Ruddy McCann — from local (and rising) sports star to someone pitied by a hound. Life isn’t that nice for him — even his heroics at the end of The Midnight Plan of the Repo Man didn’t do much to improve his life.

One day, he’s minding his business and a complete stranger comes up and tells him that he’s not guilty of the crime he was convicted of. This encounter turns his world upside down — he remembers nothing that happened around that time, he just assumed he was as guilty as he was told. But if he wasn’t?

He starts looking into things and soon finds more dead women than he expects — and before he knows it, Ruddy (and Alan) are on the trail of a possible serial killer.

He’s also found himself doing errands for (and maybe accidentally threatening people on behalf of) a corrupt banker — he is making pretty decent money this way, but he’s not sure he should. Still, he needs money as a couple of local police have taken to shutting down any of his repossession activities. So he soldiers on, while trying to find a way to take this guy down, too.

Ruddy’s having some difficulty in his personal life, too — both with his fiancée and his sister. Because a barely employed ex-con needs more complications in his life than stopping two crime sprees. Alan’s advice (as unwilling as he is to give it) probably saves the day, for him.

I’m not crazy about his psychologist as a character — but as an antagonist he worked well. Also, I’m not sure I like what we seem to have learned about Alan from him. The banker was amusing, I’m not sure I took him as seriously as a criminal, but I had fun with him. I may have liked Katie more in the last book, but she’s a good character and I enjoyed her effect on Ruddy.

I don’t know why Cameron gave Ruddy’s brother-in-law, Kermit, this knack for using the wrong word so often, but I have to tip my cap to him — it has to be hard to write (and not overdo it) and it works so well for building a character and bringing some extra lightness to his scenes.

Cameron walks a fine line between humor and serious drama — I don’t find this as funny as some, but it is light and amusing. That doesn’t take away from the drama, the danger or anything — it just makes the narrative easier to read.

This is one of those sequels that you don’t see the need for — The Midnight Plan was a fun novel, and a complete story, but it did leave the door open for this one (and Repo Madness has left at least one more open). I’m glad that Cameron brought Rudy back and look forward to his return. This was another solid outing for this unlikely hero.


3 Stars

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