Thursday, August 27, 2009

Ravens: A Novel by George Dawes Green

In Ravens, the Boawrights have won the lottery, $318 million! Before they can claim their prize, though, two grifters, Shaw McBride and Romeo Zderko take the family hostage and demand half of the winnings. While McBride keeps his eye on the family, Zderko rides around town keeping track of the extended family members. The deal is that if McBride becomes unreachable, Zderko has orders to go to the nearest family member's house and kill them.

At first glance, I didn't know what to make of the novel, but Green totally sucked me in after the first few pages. His completely original storyline is absurd bordering on comical, yet somehow scary and full of suspense. I couldn't wait to see how this was going to end. Were the conmen going to get away with half the money? How many bodies were going to pile up in the process?

You'd almost expect the conmen to be bullies. Not so with these guys. McBride was witty, sarcastic and warmed up to some of the family members while Zderko just didn't seem to have the nerve to play his part in the grand plan. If the time came, could he kill? I believe he asked himself this question. Even though these two were unlikely in their roles, they were sensational. Other notable characters were Burris, the less than stellar police officer, and Nell, the grandmother. Even though everyone had counted Burris out as an officer of the law, he kept at. As for Nell, I really hated the way she treated Burris (he was sweet on her), but I loved her spunkiness.

All through the book, I couldn't help but wonder about the title. Why Ravens? So I looked the word up in Wikipedia. Under behaviour I found: "Common Ravens usually travel in mated pairs, although young birds may form flocks. Relationships between Common Ravens are often quarrelsome, yet they demonstrate considerable devotion to their families". While I wouldn't call Shaw and Romeo a "mated pair", the rest of the description is remarkably accurate. There could be another explanation for the title, but I think this is interesting.

New Word Alert: seining = to fish with a seine, which is a large fishing net with floats along the top edge and weights along the bottom.

Because my husband plays Texas Hold'em online for fun, when I came across the following statement from Nell, I giggled:
We don't cotton to Tedious Hold'em around here. Where you go all-in on a pair of nines and cross your fingers and pray? There's more skill in Bingo. (page 79)

Highly recommended. I'll be seeking out other books by this author.

For more information about this book, please visit the Hachette Book Group website.

For more information about the author or his other books, please visit George Dawes Green's website.

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad you included the definitions of Ravens becuase the title didn't give any hint as to what the book is about. Glad you enjoyed it.


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