Publication Date: October 4, 2012
In Pawnbroker by Jerry Hatchett, Gary Bolton is a family man and pawnbroker. When he kills an armed robber, the repercussions are not what Gary might have thought they would be. Suddenly he’s the focus of some very bad people who will do anything to get what they want.
The author, Jerry Hatchett, gave me a copy of this novel in exchange for my review.
There’s a heavy feeling of camp in Pawnbroker by Jerry Hatchett. It’s well-played stereotypes in an extraordinary situation. There’s a fitting desperation to the rapid-fire pacing and the sense that the author intended a visual action movie kind of read. Pawnbroker is truly a book to be better enjoyed when not dissected. There are some elements that simply don’t hold up to scrutiny.
Gary “Gray” Bolton is well mapped for those characters type he represents. He’s a strongly framed character. Gray is the true focus and in development Hatchett does not let the reader forget that. When Gray goes on the run with the super hot Penny, he’s having problems with his wife so there’s a strong will he or won’t he kind of sexual tension.
Although Hatchett starts strong, there are scenes that drag as well as a number of background characters that are poorly developed. What in the novel is supposed to be egregious reactions from characters in reflection challenge the reader to wonder why a person wouldn’t react as they do. For example, the officers investigating the killing of the armed robber are painted as a rather typical tunnel vision baddies, but in reflection, Gray did kill an armed robber. Gray’s wife is a cheating temptress so would he be in the right to break his own marriage vows? Is what’s good for the goose good for the gander, and in reflection does that throw a pall on the sexual tension with Penny?
While the plotline does start with a strong thriller focus, Hatchett struggles with a cross-genre melting pot. There seems to be a lost focus that is not intentional chaos as the story goes on.
Despite my comments in this review, I did truly enjoy this read. There are a number of folks on Amazon who rate Pawnbroker highly, posting comments like “I couldn’t put the book down” and “I read though I had to get up quite early.” “Pawnbroker” is a novel that sweeps you away but when asked to look in depth for this reader elements fell flat. If you’re reading on a trip or for enjoyment or have a free afternoon, Pawnbroker is an excellent book to pick up and read in one sitting.
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