One of those lovely older books they have for free on Amazon for the Kindle. I’ve only ever read one of Nicholson’s other books, The House of a Thousand Candles, and it’s a wonderful mystery. I was pleased to see that Amazon offers a jillion of his other books, so I snapped up the titles that sounded the most fun.
Blacksheep! follows the story of Archie, a young man six years out of college who has no purpose in his life. He is well off, but a hopeless hypochondriac, always watching his diet and going off to remote locations for his “delicate” health and his nerves. At a party one day, he meets a delightful young woman who tries to snap him out of his lethargy by recommending that he go on a crime spree. Rob a few people, kill a few people. It’d help him get a new perspective on life right away. This, of course, shocks his delicate sensibilities.
His tyrannical sister sends him out to check out a potential beach cottage shortly after this. Archie gets stranded there during a storm. A prowler breaks into the cottage and shoots at Archie, who shoots the man in the back as the man flees. Then Archie, horrified at what he’s done, runs away and falls in with a criminal mastermind known only as the Governor.
The Governor is the orchestrator of the underworld, completely loveable, boldfaced, never loses his cool, and tells the exact truth to every policeman. (When he soberly describes himself and Archie to a pair of cops at a roadblock, I was in stitches.)
Archie is further and further entangled in criminal behavior and the intrigue broiling in the Crogden family, seeing as he shot the father. But the ride only gets more entertainingly ludicrous as the Crogdens engage in kidnapping, prompting the Governor to call on his underworld contacts to set things to rights.
What a great read. I enjoyed it thoroughly and can’t wait to read some more Nicholson.
(If you don’t have a Kindle, or an ipod with a Kindle app, Amazon gives you a free program for your compy that reads Kindle books.)