A Novel by S. G. Browne
2012 / 368 Pages
The Setup: Meet private detective Nick Monday. More Columbo than Sam Spade and more Magnum P.I. than Philip Marlowe, Nick was born with a unique talent: the ability to steal other people’s luck. All it takes is a handshake and Nick walks away with their good fortune, which he sells on the black market to the highest bidder.
Lately business has been slow and Nick doesn’t know whether his ability to swipe other people’s fortunes is a blessing or a curse. Then Tuesday Knight, the mayor’s curvy and seductive daughter, approaches Nick with an offer of $100,000 to retrieve her father’s stolen luck. Could this high-stakes deal help Nick turn his life around? Or will it simply fund his addiction to corporate coffeehouse baristas while his morality drains down the toilet?
Before he drinks his next mocha, Nick finds himself at the mercy of a Chinese mafia kingpin and with no choice but to scour the city for the purest kind of luck — a hunt more titillating than softcore porn. All he has to do to stay ahead of the game is remember that you can’t take something from someone without eventually paying like hell for it…. (From the hardcover edition)
We’ve all had that rush at one point or another in our lives, that supreme feeling attached to the thought that we’re the luckiest person in the world. Maybe we won a few bucks on a lottery ticket, or scored the last chocolate doughnut at the local breakfast emporium, or even walked away from a horrid high speed car collision virtually unscathed. Whatever the circumstances, we’re thankful for the luck and we hope that our streak of good fortune continues on into the future. And it probably will. At least until someone comes along and steals it from us.
Of course the reverse can also be true. Maybe we lost money in the stock market or became morbidly obese and diabetic from eating too many confectionary treats, or maybe we lost half an arm and our left big toe in a car accident. Bad luck sucks and we when it strikes we can’t wait to be rid of it. Sadly though, it’s not such an easy thing to shake. Some of us feel like we’re born with it and that no matter what we do or how hard we try that we just can’t shake it. It sticks to us. Like glue. No one in their right mind wants to steal this and you’ve got to really hate someone’s guts to want to infect them with it.
Enter private detective Nick Monday. He has an interesting innate talent. He can poach luck from unsuspecting marks with nothing more than a simple hand shake. For a price he’ll even sell some you on the black market. There are different grades of luck and of course the higher you go up the scale the more the cost involved increases. There are your standard low, medium, and high varieties, and then there’s the ultimate level, the elusive luck categorized as being pure. It’s not easy to come by, if fact poaching it is considered taboo.
As the noir comedy Lucky Bastard opens Monday finds himself smack in the middle of one of the worst days he’s ever experienced. Working multiple cases all involving some form of luck, both the good and the bad varieties, Monday finds himself at the center of a shit storm that threatens his very existence, but he takes it all in stride as he deals with a highly quirky, dysfunctional supporting cast of characters including government agent Barry Manilow and mob driver Alex the Vegan Douche Bag. Oh, and let’s not forget the hotties Scooter Girl and Tuesday Knight. No detective tale would be complete without a few babes sprinkled in.
The government wants Monday to take down the mob by delivering some bad luck to the head of the family while in return the mob wants Monday to poach San Francisco’s denizens dry of its good luck for their own nefarious purposes. Scooter girl and Tuesday, who knows what they want, and as long as they keep flashing some skin Monday’s way, who really cares? Pulled in multiple directions, the only person Monday can truly trust is his faithful assistant
Doug Bow Wow. Or can he? With time slipping away Monday’s forced to make some hard choices in order to assure his survival. Poaching luck might be easy, but managing to stay alive long enough to turn a profit from doing so is a whole different ballgame.
Lucky Bastard is hilariously superb achievement. S.G. Browne has delivered what is easily his best novel to date, one that keeps the reader in stitches and demands that they continue to turn page after glorious page as they inch their way ever closer to unraveling the mystery behind not only the forces currently driving Monday to poach for his life, but the very fabric of how luck itself works.
Read this one. In fact, you should forward this review on to at least ten of your friends and encourage them to do the same. I’m not saying bad things will happen if you don’t follow this
command suggestion, but if you’re into taking chances I’d invest in a new pair of gloves just in case.