Monday, April 27, 2009
Robert Fate's Baby Shark ~ Reviewed
by Robert Fate
Paperback: 270 pages
Publisher: Capital Crime Press
In a roadside pool hall out west of Abilene, Kristin Van Dijk, 17, is forced by four thugs to watch the murder of three men, including her pool hustler father. She’s assaulted and beaten and left for dead as Henry Chin, a Chinese immigrant whose grown son was one of those murdered, saves her and secretly helps her recover. Because the local police show no interest in solving the pool hall crime, Henry hires a private investigator more set on justice than law to start a search for the nomadic killers. Then Henry hires two vets to teach Kristin how to protect herself. She develops into one tough package of trouble as she also perfects her pool. At eighteen, she looks for the thugs as she hustles pool in west Texas and earns the nickname Baby Shark. Revenge is difficult, but satisfying.
The story of baby shark is tragic, page-turning and horrific. A teen witnesses the murder of her father, endures the unthinkable, and then barely lives to be haunted by it. The choice she makes to overcome is understandable and that is where the reader begins to accept the road, the blood-soaked, slippery road, Kristin begins to walk,
Baby Shark is the nickname Kristin earns as she picks up the pool cue that was ripped prematurely from her hustler father. Pool is only one of the skills she masters. The others are far more important than a game. They boil down to life and death, mostly the latter.
When I began reading Baby Shark, I, within pages of her physical recovery, knew where the story was going. You will, too. However, even though the situation borders on stereotypical, there is enough new and unique to make the story fresh and engaging and the characters real.
I'd caution chickens to avoid visiting Kristin's Texas as there are some pretty intense scenes. PI and vendetta/underdog-out-to-clean-up-the-world fans will likely find much to like in Baby Shark, both the character and the book.
Reviewed by: Kelly Klepfer