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Let It Ride    by John McFetridge order for
Let It Ride
by John McFetridge
Order:  USA  Can
Minotaur, 2010 (2010)
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Though I'm not a big fan of noir mysteries, I enjoyed John McFetridge's Let It Ride for the tour it gave me of the underside of a city I've lived in - Toronto, Ontario - and its biker gangs, drug dealers, ladies of the night, and both corrupt and good cops.

In fact, there are so many characters in this novel that it becomes hard to keep track of who's who in the myriad of confusing cops and robbers. One of the more appealing ones is Sergeant Vernard 'Get' McGetty, on a mission for his Detroit drug dealing mom to assess a Toronto biker chapter's operation and see if they could become his biggest supplier. His contact is J.T., whom he met in Afghanistan. In turn, J.T. introduces Get to lovely Sunitha Suraiya, 'the hand job chick', who's looking to make a huge gold heist - from the bikers. She tries to enlist Get.

On the side of the law, various officers (who reminded me of characters from The Shield) investigate the shooting of a couple (who were members of an adult lifestyles club) in their car, and receive information that the death of an informant in police custody might not have been due to a drug overdose, as reported. Readers learn early that the husband and wife were killed by mistake, their car confused with that of mob boss Big Pete Zichello. They also meet biker boss Richard Tremblay, who's dating a movie-producer and seeking an exit strategy. He assesses his own life as if it were a movie.

After all kinds of carnage, McFetridge (whose style reminded me of Walter Mosley) ties up his novel nicely, and the survivors ride off into the sunset. If you enjoy noir, you won't miss with Let It Ride.

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