Ryan Aldred: Rum luck

Ryan Aldred: Rum luckBen Cooper woke up in a jail in Costa Rica, unconsciously about the latest night, and it appears he bought a bar on the beach, and the previous owner was murdered. Sounds like a good base for a crime, a light story to read during a holiday. And it is, a good-mood plot played mostly in the bar, which is a perfect scene for investigating a murder, conversations, and of course, dancing…

Basically as a crime, Rum luck lacks all the tension: there’s a slight threat around Ben and his friends, but eventually they always find the resolution for all their problems. It’s mainly around the money: Ben has spent all of his savings to buy the bar, so he needs help from his friends. And his friends gave him not just money, but all the skills Ben misses: Veronica is a strong-minded attorney with important contacts in the Costa Rica government, and as it incidentally came out, she’s an experienced disc-jockey too, who can boil the bar’s atmosphere in a minute… And Miguel, the other friend of Ben is incidentally a retired soldier from some harsh place of South America, who can solve any dangerous situation with or without a gun in his hands…

The book almost goes to a parody when Miguel’s aunt arrives, who would be a famous musician, but in the book he’s only a less humorous idiot, and it’s again too constrained when the actual crime could be solved only when Veronica proves to be a well-trained and well-equipped spy too…

But the mood, the atmosphere is very good throughout the book, it’s interesting to see how they can manage the bar: getting the booze, selling the booze, making the guests dance, and after a hard-working night resting peace on the beach. There’s some romance between the characters, and there are some clues for the investigation too. The characters and their behavior are real (except their unconstrained skill-set), so it’s an entertaining, light story, which could be a perfect read lying somewhere on a beach…

Ryan Aldred: Rum luck
Five Star Publishing, 2016. (Netgalley advanced review copy)

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