Poughkeepsie Shuffle

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 01 Aug 2018

Member Reviews

Poughkeepsie Shuffle by Dietrich Kalteis is a fast-paced crime thriller with plenty of violence, double-crossing and smart remarks.  

The novel follows Canadian Jeff Nichols, recently out of prison, as he tries to rekindle his relationship with his quickly growing impatient wife while creating an economically comfortable lifestyle.  He soon finds employment as a used car salesman with a shady businessman, that quickly finds him inching back to a criminal lifestyle. 

Kalteis quickly throws a number of characters at the reader which may lead to a bit of confusion until one is able to decipher who is who and which faction characters belong to.  

Those who enjoy hardcore crime noir novels will enjoy this novel, especially when learning in the very opening pages, one recurring character is abducted and ends up having a pinkie finger clipped off by a hood handling a pair of pruning shears.  

Kalteis' includes writing resembling Coen Brothers-like humor, which includes a couple of bungling thugs that just can't seem to get things done well.  

This is my first read Detrich Kalteis novel and has created an interest in his other novels and short stories.
Was this review helpful?
Synopsis/blurb.....

Jeff Nichols - a man strong of conviction but weak of character - is fresh out of the Don Jail, looking for work - any kind of work - and a way back into Ann Ryan's good graces. She waited for his return from prison but is quickly running short on patience. An ex-inmate and friend gets Jeff a job at Ted Bracey's used car lot, selling cars for commission only. But it's not enough to keep him and Ann afloat in mid-80s Toronto, and the lure of easy money soon gets Jeff involved in smuggling guns from upstate New York.

With that sweet Poughkeepsie cash, now he can keep his promises to Ann; he even buys them a house, but conceals the source of the money. As Jeff gets in deeper and deeper, everyone around him learns how many rules he's willing to bend and just how far he'll go to get on the fast track to riches. That he's a guy who doesn't let lessons from past mistakes get in the way of a good score.
--------
My take.....

Another top read from Canadian author, Dietrich Kalteis - an enjoyable holiday read with the book in one hand and a beer in the other on a hot beach in Malta.

Toronto, gang wars, a used car lot, a front for gun smuggling across the border, an impatient money lender siccing his heavies on the owner and employees of the lot, which causes a few issues for Jeff Nichols, our ex-con main character.

Torture, amputation, messages, employment prospects, romance, a hair restorer side business, an Elvis impersonator, home-making, house buying, drive by shoot ups, boat trips, parties, confrontations, kidnap, etc etc. It's a busy book with a lot going on and another one where our main characters operate on the shady side of the tracks, some, not all of the time. There's more money to be made that way and besides rehabilitation isn't always an option for ex-cons.

I'm a bit fuzzy on all the minor details regarding who did what to whom. I read the book over a month ago, but there's no doubting my overall enjoyment.

Setting - Toronto - tick

Pace - never hurried, but it moves along at a decent clip. A to B to C and before you know it Z - tick

Characters - major/minor - never less than interesting - each with their own agenda - tick

Jeff and his girl Ann want the same thing - maybe. A future together. A house. A cause of friction is how they are going to get there. Ann is suspicious of Jeff's job and wants him on the straight and narrow. Jeff knows his options are limited and will duck and dive and do whatever to make it happen. Tension, distrust, suspicion, pressures all add to Jeff's woes.

Plot - one man's efforts to get by and get on and ultimately survive against a back drop of gun running, illegal money lending, used car sales and gang warfare. My kind of story - tick

Length - 280 pages - perfect - tick

Resolution - satisfying - tick

Overall - 4.5/5

Dietrich Kalteis has been enjoyed a few times before......
Ride the Lightning
The Deadbeat Club
Triggerfish
Zero Avenue

......and is a firm favourite of mine. I'm looking forward to his latest one which drops soon - Call Down the Thunder

Read - September, 2019
Published - 2018
Page count - 280
Source - review copy from Net Galley, subsequently purchased

http://col2910.blogspot.com/2019/10/dietrich-kalteis-poughkeepsie-shuffle.html
Was this review helpful?
I like Kalteis. He writes a good hard boiled novel crime novel with echoes of Leonard. And his settings are different. If you are looking for something different in the crowded crime field, give him a try
Was this review helpful?
The author provided plenty of action and excitement in this thriller that kept me invested.  I am definitely going to be seeking out more of the author's work.
Was this review helpful?
I received a DIGITAL Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  
From the publisher --- 
Jeff Nichols — a man strong of conviction but weak of character — is fresh out of the Don Jail, looking for work — any kind of work — and a way back into Ann Ryan’s good graces. She waited for his return from prison but is quickly running short on patience. An ex-inmate and friend gets Jeff a job at Ted Bracey’s used car lot, selling cars for commission only. But it’s not enough to keep him and Ann afloat in mid-80s Toronto, and the lure of easy money soon gets Jeff involved in smuggling guns from upstate New York. With that sweet Poughkeepsie cash, now he can keep his promises to Ann; he even buys them a house but conceals the source of the money. As Jeff gets in deeper and deeper, everyone around him learns how many rules he’s willing to bend and just how far he’ll go to get on the fast track to riches. That he’s a guy who doesn’t let lessons from past mistakes get in the way of a good score.
Poughkeepsie is the funniest word on the planet, seriously. AND a great place to visit (again, Seriously…the walk across that bridge from New Paltz is sublime, as are the Gilded Otter beer slides!) Yes, I chose the book based on the title.
Aside, this was a totally enjoyable book from page one to end. It’s not a book club kind of book unless you want CanCon (Canadian Content) but I would still recommend it to someone in search of a good book to read!!! 4 solid stars.
Was this review helpful?