The Travis Club
Strange happenings are afoot in San Antonio, Texas. Both the mafia-like Catholic Church and an evil developer who likes to buy historic buildings and tear them down are showing an unusual interest in an old church retreat designed by an architect with a flair for hiding rooms. At the same time, the land that recharges San Antonio’s aquifer is being bought up rapidly under false pretenses.
Normally, the Travis Club, a ragtag band of do-gooders led by Taylor Nichols, stages protests by chaining themselves to toilets to protect historic buildings from destruction by unscrupulous developers. However, this time, they are drawn into these odd circumstances when both the Church and the developer want to know what Nichols, a part-time radio talk show host and biographer of the quirky architect, knows about the old church retreat. Throw in a landlady with a secret past and a mysterious woman, who asks Nichols on a date and tries to change his life, and you’ve got an entertaining read.
I think what makes this novel stand out is the character of Taylor Nichols. He is almost an antihero. He barely makes ends meet and is fine with that. He drives a truck that isn’t long for this world, and he wears shirts he borrows from a friend, who buys them for fifty cents at the Salvation Army each week. Although he is apparently very good-looking, Taylor’s charmingly awkward with women. He, however, genuinely cares about doing good, especially preserving San Antonio’s history. As Taylor tells another character, “I don’t plan what I can get; I plan what I can give.” And he apparently makes a decent pizza to boot.
The plot of The Travis Club is enjoyable, but does not break any new ground. It follows your basic mystery plot with slightly over-used bad guys archetypes and somewhat predictable misleading clues. However, Rybczyk writes really interesting characters, and I hope Nichols and his motley crew return to face a slightly more formidable mystery in the future.
|Author||Mark Louis Rybczyk|
|Page Count||381 pages|
|Publisher||Amazon Digital Services|
|Bookshop.org||Buy this Book|