I listened to the audio version of The Death and the Life of Bobby Z mainly just to get a feel for the author before I tackle the considerably heftier The Power of the Dog. This book was of course turned into the film of the same name staring the late Paul Walker, so it’s always interesting to compare the two.
Currently serving a life sentence without parole, decorated Gulf War veteran Tim Kearney gets a poisoned chalice of an offer from the DEA to impersonate the notorious and now dead drug smuggler Bobby Zacharias and to be honest, it’s not the deal of a lifetime.
Freedom is freedom though and having just slashed the throat of a Hell’s Angel wrecking ball, whatever’s in store for him on the outside is going to be a damn site more preferential to the waves of revenge heading his way.
The deal, he’s about to be exchanged for the captured DEA agent Arthur Moreno and given to Don Huertero, a Mexican druglord and yeah, it doesn’t sound like an monumentally rejoiceful moment for our hero and token loser.
And it doesn’t take long for him to get right in the middle of a seriously fucked up situation, snatched at gunpoint, held prisoner in the desert, waiting for the Don. Luckily though he’s a US Marine, the greatest soldiers on the planet and we then step into the realms of predictability with an escape, tracked by Indians, loads of killing etc.
Our hero then actually comes into the role of Bobby Z with a bit of a flourish but unfortunately there’s a shit load of baggage that comes with it and a lot of people wanting to end his life.
The only thing to set this apart from other stories of similar persuasion was the rescue of a kid, the real Bobby Z’s son, which sort of stopped the story going dark and dirty. There’s some snippets of humour in there amidst the betrayals and gunfire. All told the narration was good, the story and plot were good, characters were ok if not a bit cliché and that summed it up for me, just sort of OK.