Tuesday, 19 August 2014

DIETRICH KALTEIS - RIDE THE LIGHTNING


Synopsis/blurb……..

A fast, powerful read full of action, twists, and dark humour
Bounty Hunter Karl Morgen goes after Miro Knotts on a skipped bond, finding the dope dealer wrapped around an underaged girl at a rave in Seattle. Dragging Miro in the hard way gets Karl's licence revoked, while Miro gets off with a suspended sentence. Karl then finds work as a process server in Vancouver, thinking it's the kind of place where people settle things with middle fingers instead of guns.

But the city is teeming with two-bit criminals, drug dealers, and gangsters, and Miro seizes an opportunity to settle his score with Karl while working a major drug deal. What follows is a ride through Vancouver's underbelly with a cast of characters whose ambition exceeds their criminal acumen. With dialogue that crackles on the page, Ride the Lightning introduces a new voice in crime fiction featuring grit, realism, and a comedic touch.

Ride the Lightning encapsulates all the things I love about my reading……….characters, setting, story, pace, humour and a level of violence. I may be in a minority but I love meeting low-level criminals in my fiction…….drugs addicts, car thieves, pot growers, bouncers, enforcers, strippers, bikers – basically all round scumbags and losers. To me this type of person is a hundred times more interesting than the straight Joe – boring 9 to 5 office dude who goes home at 5.30 every evening to the wife and the home cooked meal. Who wants to read about themselves?

Dietrich Kalteis nails it in his first book.

Characters – tick….. all interesting, funny and entertaining. Not many are sympathetic or likeable, but enough of them so you know which side you’re rooting for.

Story – tick…. drug dealers, some looking to move up, some looking to get out at the top of the game, one with skewed objectives and firmly fixated on revenge and an ex-bounty hunter looking to settle in, find a bit of romance and perhaps deliver some payback if the opportunity arises.

Setting – tick, Seattle and Vancouver – two places I’ve never visited, two places I’m unlikely ever to visit, two places I feel like I’ve been to thanks to the author.

Pace – tick…. there’s a cadence to the narrative that keeps the story ticking along….short, snappy chapters, that constantly changes the focus of the reader, before a fitting climax.   
  
Humour – tick….. great scenes, great dialogue – whether it’s a mother and daughter arguing over using college funds for a boob-job, or our bounty hunter chatting to the criminal king-pin whilst he basks on a nudist beach applying oil to his wrinkly bits.

Incredibly difficult to believe that this is a first novel. Mr Kalteis has acquired himself a reader for life.

5 from 5

Dietrich Kalteis has a website here.

Many thanks to Jenna at ECW Press and Dietrich for sending this one to me. ECW’s website is here. Ride the Lightning is recommended and available!   
     


16 comments:

  1. Col - It's good to hear you enjoyed this so much. Always nice isn't it when you read a book that gets it in one. And it's good to hear there's some dark wit going through this too. Not sure this one's for me, but I give the author credit for telling an interesting story with a good sense of setting.

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    1. Margot cheers. Bang crash boom! Book of the month so far! Maybe his follow-up will grab you?

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  2. Have to say that nothing about this one appeals to me (all the things you like are the things I generally don't - especially all those low level criminals who do not engage me in the way they do you) but I do like reading such enthusiastic reviews - your mojo is definitely back

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    1. Bernadette - you really need to get off the fence here! Haha...... that's what is so great about the genre in my opinion, it's made up of such diversity.
      We'll agree to disagree over this one! Looking forward to our next book in common - whenever that may be. For now, long live the MOJO!

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    2. I do agree - crime fiction is a broad church - and every so often we do have a crossover book - I like keeping an eye out for those

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  3. Col, I can't say I have read many novels with "low-level criminals" although I'm a bit surprised that the setting for this tale is a place as nice as Vancouver. I have heard only good things about this beautiful city.

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    1. Prashant, I suppose every city has its dark side. Ying and yang maybe? http://thetyee.ca/Views/2008/08/13/DTESHistory/

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  4. I used to live in Seattle and visited Vancouver a fair bit from there, so that's actually a recommendation for me. Vancouver is lovely, but it certainly has its fair share of crime. Anyway, your enthusiasm is infectious, I would definitely consider this when the new book embargo is lifted...

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    1. Moira perhaps one of the characters was based on yourself, maybe you unknowingly crossed paths with Dieter and left an impression! There's a thought..... hope you read it one day!

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  5. Another of those neat covers you're always finding and showcasing. Speaking for Tracy (do I dare?) this one would fit her Canada challenge. Looks interesting to me too.

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    1. Glen, I don't want to come between husband and wife, so I'll just recommend you both read it! I've not signed up for a Canadian reading challenge, but I hope to read a few more this year.

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  6. I am on the fence on this one. First of all, there are the kazillion books I already have to read and 2nd, too gritty. But Glen, is right, a great setting. Maybe we can go halvsies on it, it isn't cheap in any edition. Not outrageously expensive, but a bite to my book budget.

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    1. Tracy, hmm ....there may be a few moments that would disagree with you. Maybe Glen buys and reads, passes it on and then if you enjoy it, you pay him half? Simples!

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    2. Glen has purchased this, and I will probably read it too. If only for the Canada connection.

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    3. I hope you both enjoy it, as and when.

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