Required Reading

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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Final Price by J. Gregory Smith


A quarter finalist in the 2009 Amazon Breakthrough Novel contest, this book deserves to be looked at carefully. Most of us have purchased a car at one point or another. I doubt many of us have considered the car salesman’s point of view, let alone a psychopathic car salesman. Shamus the car salesman does not take rejection well. His reaction to rejection is investigated by the largest Chinese American State Trooper in Delaware and his emotionally vulnerable sidekick.

Smith paints a vivid portrait of a tortured soul inflicting his inner demons on those who he feels has wronged him. Those of us who have sold for a living recognize some of the frustrations in dealing with a fickle, often unreasonable and frequently unpredictable customer. Doing your best to please someone and feeling maligned and misunderstood is painful. Luckily most of us are able to shrug off the bad, revel in the good and move on with our life. Shamus Ryan’s soul was shriveled long before he started selling cars. Price does a nice job inferring his past without detailing it, this provides a lot of room for the imagination to flourish.

Paul Chang struggles with his own demons and endeavors to stay on the sane side of the emotional precipice that Shamus cheerfully drives over. Paul’s loyalty to his former partner his endearing and his pain is clear. I think Price painted his characters well. The book is a good mystery and provides a modicum of motivation to consider the feelings and stresses of those who sell for a living.

I recommend the book, for a first effort this is outstanding!

Body of work of J. Gregory Smith

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