Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Finding Katie by John J Smith: Book Review

Finding Katie
by John J. Smith

John J Smith has a knack for creating eccentric well rounded characters.   In Delayed Flight there was the waitress at the airport that I was especially fond of But Finding Katie is swarming with them.  I'm charmed by eccentric characters because they always surprise me which gets harder to do as the decades go by.

The protagonist, Preston Meadows, himself is quite eccentric.  In his mid twenties, he works for his wealthy father and lives in the basement of the family home.  He has been so sheltered from the outside world he needs to be prepared for an excursion into it as one who is traveling in a foreign country without knowledge of its language or customs.  He is a genius and an empath which is what makes him so valuable to his father's business.

When his older sister Katie, a professor, is kidnapped he insists on looking for her himself.  And that's when the other characters begin taking the stage.  Some briefly, like the cab driver on the first day who thinks Preston must be the Devil  after he catches him cheating on the fare by using his GPS and the rate posted in the car to figure out what he should have been charged.  The driver gets out of his cab screaming and causes a several car pileup.

Then there is the woman who runs the homeless shelter that takes him in, an ex-addict with a mouth on her to make a sailor blush.  The shelter itself is full of eccentrics. There's the woman who works in the shelter kitchen who sings like an angel.  There are the overweight twenty-something woman and the young transvestite who are always vying over the same potential beaus.  They have knock-down drag-out fights over Preston who of course has no interest in either as he's besotted with an illegal immigrant whose brother is a minion of the same gang leader who has Katie.  There is the member of the rival gang who mistakenly believes that Preston is responsible for an injury he sustained and spends the entire novel trying to get even only to have each attempt backfire and boomerang back onto him.  There are many more.  Too many to list in a short review.

The action of the story is one fumbling, bumbling Keystone Coppish episode after another as Preston moves through the days attracting accidents and anger nearly always unscathed as bullets fly, cars explode, fists and Molotov cocktails are thrown, ladders fall, a squirrel steals nuts from Preston's bedside table then leads him on a chase to the roof and a 'vicious' attack dog is persistently distracted by his indiscriminate sex addiction.

The beginning is a bit slow but once Preston has left home the action picks up and there is one laugh-out-loud scene after another.  The young man who was so socially awkward at the beginning he could have been mistaken for someone with Asperger's syndrome has by the end not only made friends, fallen in love and become an integral member of the small community at the shelter, he has found the courage to break out of that family basement living mindset and to defy the father who'd kept him dependent in order to use his son's special talents to enlarge his wealth.

The story was a rollicking good time and I'd like to see sequels with Preston as the accidental detective solving crime with his unique blend of genius, uncanny luck and telepathic abilities.

John J. Smith
Finding Katie Tour Schedule


Tour Host:      Post,                 Date of review:               (GP)Guest 

Katrina Page Flipperz                       Mar. 2                   None
Crystal My Reading Room Blog        Mar. 6                   G & GP Mar. 8           
Vicki I'd Rather Be At the Beach     Mar. 5                    G
Joy Joy Story                                   Mar. 7                   None
Kari From the TBR Pile                   Mar. 8                   G
Theresa Frugal Experments              Mar. 9                   GP Mar. 9
Pamela Thoughts in Progress           Mar. 11                  G & GP Mar. 7
Patty Books, Thoughts..                   Mar. 12                  G
Jackie Housewife Blues                   Mar. 13                  G  Mar. 18th
Chris Redding, Author                      None                     Excerpt Mar. 14
Donna's Home Blog                         Mar. 14                  I Mar. 15
Fran Vampyre Gurls Book Club         Mar. 15                G & GP Mar. 16
Amy's Book World                            Mar. 19                GP & G Mar. 20
Kathryn Mysteries Etc.                     Mar. 21                 None
Courtney Crunchy Beach Mama        Mar. 22                 G
Lucy Moonlight Gleam's Bookshelf    Mar. 23                 None   
Reviews by Molly                             Mar. 26                  G
Lisa Alive on the Shelves                  None                      I Mar.27
Yvonne Socrates' Book Review         Mar. 27                  G
Brenda WV Stitcher                          Mar. 28                  None
Donna My Life                                 Mar. 29                   G &GP Mar. 30

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