When Pigs Fly

Finished a fast, fun read newly available on Kindle. My blog buddy Bob Sanchez has a few books out, and although I enjoy his travel posts and pictures, I had not gotten around to reading his novels because they weren’t available on Kindle.

The minute When Pigs Fly got Kindled, I bought it, read it, and loved following the high-jinks of an inept gang of thieves in the fast-paced, action-packed, verbally astute mode of Elmore Leonard and Carl Hiaasen.

Not everybody’s a bad guy. The titular pig’s pretty cool, and Mack, the protagonist, is a retired cop, grieving for his wife of thirty years,  in an extended trip in the southwest. When his folks send his best friend’s ashes to be distributed wherever Mack thinks best, he decides on the Grand Canyon, not realizing the urn holds more than ashes, or that he’ll have company on his journey.

Diet Cola is a smelly ugly brute who, before heading off to serve time, tucks an item of value into the urn while robbing Mack’s folks. He figures on retrieving it when he gets out of the slammer, and when he returns to find it gone, terrorizes the old folks into telling him where it went.

Diet Cola then heads southwest toward Mack, picking up a freak show of lowlifes that include an Elvis impersonator and assorted other goofballs with specialized skills but not much common sense. How these people end up in the desert together for a final showdown displays Sanchez’s plotting skills. He gets ’em there with plenty of style and a pace that never lags.

My reading tastes don’t usually tend toward the underbelly of society, but Sanchez’s  idiot crooks and loose women made me laugh. Diet Cola is cruel enough to give readers the creeps and a sweet love story adds hope to Mack’s crusade to let his wife go, scatter his friend’s ashes, and save his parents from a homicidal maniac.

All that and a flying pig dressed like Elvis who gets his own happy ending makes for a smoothly snappy summer read.

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