I was down to two choices last week: the latest offering from a popular crime author, or Slip & Fall by Nick Santora. The latter caught my eye with its red cover, “Borders Exclusive” sticker, and simple design. I’d glanced at it a few times in the past, so I finally gave the dust jacket a read and learned it’s written by the guy who produced Prison Break. The writing that finally killed the series for me this season couldn’t be all his fault, and the synopsis sounded interesting enough. I gave the Wife the same two-book option. She chose Slip & Fall and we rang it up.
The first few chapters concentrate on character development and are a bit slow, but things snowball from there. Rather than action (read violence), the plot is moved along by the way the protagonist, Rob Principe, digs himself deeper and deeper into this hole he’s created for himself. The first person narrative is very engaging, and I found myself sucked into the book yesterday rather than taking the time to work on my own projects. It was easy to feel like I was having a conversation with Principe directly, and I dug the way the prologue suddenly clicked into place as the book neared its climax. My only beef with the book was the ending: I liked it, but I didn’t quite buy it, mostly because I expected it to be a lot darker. It didn’t kill my enjoyment of the book, it was just a little too easy.
Slip & Fall is a good read if you enjoy crime drama. I got the impression Santora put a lot of his own legal experiences and background into the book, and it all felt very real. It’s a story about a guy dumb and desperate enough to go into business with the mob rather than the mob itself. Not so much a fall from grace as a nosedive.
Next time you visit your local Borders, give it a look.