In the first novel of the Marty Ronan series by James Kelly, Pablo Fandango centers on the life of Marty Ronan and his two friends, Howie and Matt. Marty and Matt have been friends since childhood, but after Matt’s dad was murdered at a nightclub in the 1980s, where both Marty and Matt’s fathers worked, Matt was taken away for some years. Fast forward, and they are both a little older and are still best friends living in the same town again. Marty has since found Howie and has developed a friendship with him as well; with differing personalities, Marty is the one link to keep the three boys together. Not being the innocent type, these boys each make a living doing less than top-notch citizen jobs, but score big for their work. Marty is also an art student at a college in Canada, and very talented; while there, he learns of an art heist and how much art, in general, can go for at auction and in retail. Being intelligent, it doesn’t take him long to come up with a heist for the three of them, in which he will forge a Picasso piece—one specifically that was stolen years ago and never recovered—knowing that there would be minimal questions asked in this situation. Having connections within his family and friends, he uses what he can to pull off a genius plan. In the process, the boys learn more about each other and the type of people they want to become.
Kelly wrote an interesting novel, dealing with a subject that can go in lots of directions with the different artists throughout history and their numerous works of art. The book reminded me of the “Ocean’s” movies, namely through the whole process of having to come up with a plan, perfect it, then pull off the ultimate heist with minimal repercussions. This book would also be similar to this film franchise in the fact that, like the movie, it would be rated PG-13, but Fandango itself would earn this rating for the continuous language throughout the story, as well as sexual and violent dialogue. The story showed the strong brotherly relationship between Marty and Matt, the awkward father-son relationship between Marty and his father, and the friendly relationship with Howie that helps tie everything together. The writing was easy to read, and even though I have minimal experience in the field of thievery, it was easy to image what was happening. I look forward to seeing what Ronan’s next adventure will be.
After editing at City Book Review for a few years, I took up the duties of editorial assistant, which include assigning books for review, posting reviews to our various sites, and nagging reviewers for things. In my non-nagging time, I’m a gamer, artist, writer, and notorious black thumb/bane of plants. My answer to every book-related question: read Octavia Butler.
|Page Count||290 pages|
|Amazon||Buy this Book|
|Category||Mystery, Crime & Thriller|