In the spirit of honesty, I was excited to hear that Johnny Shaw had a new release set to hit the market, but was disappointed when I learned it wasn’t a part of the Jimmy Veeder series. Then I recalled Big Maria kicked serious ass and I knew I had to get my paws on Floodgate, Shaw’s newest book.
Floodgate threw me for a loop right off the bat. It seemed Shaw had penned a book that was straight forward with “normal” characters. No zany characters emerged; just a solid plot driven by relatable characters. Now don’t get me wrong, the book comes out of the gate like a bullet aimed at your chest, but it just wasn’t what I would expect from Shaw.
Andy Destra is a former cop who takes the moral high ground in a city that is littered with corruption. He may come across as a conspiracy nutcase to those around him, but he senses there is corruption in the city that goes higher than anyone could imagine. He sets out to expose those with dirty agendas, but ends up killing a man and having his loved ones become pawns in a game that has higher stakes then he can imagine.
While the early scenes indicate this may be a straight forward corruption novel, soon enough Shaw throws in characters such as the Bald Woman, the Japanese Kid, the one-armed woman, and the Latina and the story seems to go “Shaw” really quickly (and that is a compliment). The story picks up steam in a hurry and never slows down until its conclusion.
I love authors who keep you guessing as to what they will throw at you next. Shaw is a master at this and this novel swerves and veers in a manner that's both fresh and fun. Shaw pens novels that are unique, yet noirish. I have enjoyed every piece of his that I have read and Floodgate demonstrates he is only getting better.
Now … when can we expect the next Veeder Fiasco novel?
Reviewed by Derrick Horodyski.