Author: Jodi Payne
Publisher: Pride Publishing
Length: 73 Pages
At a Glance: Linchpin is a quick read, with just the right amount of suspense, danger, humor and an interesting twist.
Reviewed By: Maryann
Blurb: He’s sent in to clean up and is left with one very hot mess.
Randall Quinn has been a cleaner for the mob for over ten years, but a particularly violent scene sets him to drinking alone and contemplating his options. At thirty-nine, it’s possible this is just a mid-life crisis so he tries buying himself a flashy car to satisfy the itch, and agrees to take another job to test his conviction. He’s expecting easy money when he arrives at a seedy motel to clean up after what the Boss told him was supposed to have been a simple execution. But what he discovers in that motel room is anything but simple, and from that moment on, every decision he makes for himself makes his life more and more complicated.
Review: Randall Quinn used to work for the coroner’s office, but found he could make more money as a cleanup man for the mob. When he goes on an assignment that’s seriously messy, it’s to discover that the deceased…isn’t actually dead. With no alternatives, and under orders from the boss, he takes the inconveniently alive mark—who won’t fit in the trunk of his fancy BMW—to his ratty cabin. Now all Quinn wants is for the person in the back seat of his car to die and stop talking to him.
Tony Cooper, mob target and guy who’s supposed to be dead, has to find a way to escape from Quinn, but nothing is working in his favor. Quinn keeps badgering Tony about why the mob wants him dead, but Tony’s just a freelancer… Being secluded in the cabin means Quinn and Tony end up talking, of course, over a bottle of whiskey. Quinn has to be cautious with Tony, though, and they come to somewhat of a compromise where Tony helps Quinn with the cabin. As things start to heat up between them, Quinn comes up with enough reasons why he should let Tony go that he comes up with a plan to make it happen.
Linchpin is a quick read, with just the right amount of suspense, danger, humor and an interesting twist. The banter between Quinn and Tony is fun and well-written, and the chemistry just keeps rising as the story progresses. I liked these two characters and how things begin to change between them. I really liked the twist in the plot, just what I enjoy in a short novella. I hope Jodi Payne will continue to bring more short stories like this to the table.
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