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The plan was simple; ex-rodeo performer Tex Bradley, down on his luck, is persuaded to join a ragtag group of criminals who conspire to execute what they imagine to be the perfect crime; a jewelry store safe full of cash and diamonds just ready to be stolen. However as one catastrophe after another befalls the group, they soon come to realize there is no such thing as easy money.

Pared down to the bare bones at an anemic one-hundred and twenty-three pages, Bling reads more like a screenplay than a novel. From the opening line, “a light drizzling rain is falling on the deserted streets of San Pedro,” author Gerald Boyden provides a front row seat to “rundown bars, cafes and liquor stores [that] dot each side of the mean streets of skid row” and encircle the truly terrible people that live there. With descriptive scene setting and expressive dialogue, “He won’t squeal. He’d rather be dead,” the reader can easily imagine themselves staring up at the big screen as the drama unfolds before them.

Although Boyden is successful in painting a heady atmosphere of desperation and greed, he’s much less successful in evoking any reader empathy for the characters. The storyline skips from one to the next, each character a little worse than the last, with little inner monologue and even less background, barely allowing the reader time to form an attachment, let alone any sympathy. As the characters meet their inevitable end, readers shrug, feeling, if anything, a mild satisfaction as each delinquent receives their just deserts. In its present form, the novel is easy to set aside without much thought. However, with proper plotting, twists, and turns and increased character development Bling has the potential to become an exciting and interesting read. At the moment, it’s straight to DVD with this lackluster storyline.

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Star Count 2/5
Format Trade
Page Count 127 pages
Publisher Lulu
Publish Date
ISBN 9781257774661 Buy this Book
Issue November 2011
Category Mystery, Crime, Thriller


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