Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Book Review: The Midnight Plan of the Repo Man

The Midnight Plan of the Repo Man
W. Bruce Cameron

This fiction title by Bruce Cameron—author of 8 Simples Rules For Dating My Teenage Daughter (which was made into a series for ABC television), A Dog's Purpose, and other novels featuring dogs, either incidentally or centrally—is a fun and enjoyable read. Cameron does a new take on the plot of The Lovely Bones, with a murder victim providing part of the narrative from beyond the grave. But in this tale, the ghostly presence and observations of the murder victim can be heard by ex-con and former college football standout Ruddy McCann.

McCann, trying to rebuild his life after a tragic car accident sent him to prison, is an ordinary guy just trying to get along. By day (and night) he works as a repo man in the small town of Kalkaska, Michigan. But one day he hears a voice, seemingly recalled from a dream, that helps him in a tough spot. A couple of coincidences (or perhaps a touch of karma) allow him to attempt to right a wrong and perhaps, to win the love of a young lady.

If you enjoy a good murder mystery and a nicely underplayed romance to boot, or if you like a dash of the paranormal, this is a good way to spend a weekend. The current dreary mid-winter weather makes the setting of Michigan's Upper Peninsula in early spring seem right outside your door. A second storyline that alternates between the slightly off-kilter Kermit (who is assigned to “assist” Ruddy at the behest of his boss), and Ruddy's sister and co-owner of a struggling bar in the small town, provides a good deal of humor and elevates the suspense factor as well.

Cameron writes from personal experience, having worked several years as a repossession man himself in this part of the country. This book might hint at a possible sequel. If so, I would highly recommend it. With the likable cast of characters employed here and a storyline that moves along nicely, it would be a good idea to place Cameron’s future (and probably past) work on your “to read” list.

Jonathan Newman
Avondale Library

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