I was promised action and suspense when a friend recommended Jack Getze’s crime thriller, Big Numbers. Action I got. Quite a bit of suspense, too, I have to admit. However, Austin Carr–a broke and disgraced con man of a stockbroker living in a camper, estranged from his ex-wife and blocked from seeing his kids–is such a phony it’s hard to root for him through all his perils-of-Pauline adventures.
Getze’s invented some terrific situations. Never heard until now of murder-by-sea-fishing. And Austin’s redhead femme fatale is a luscious piece of work. The book’s structured nicely, with the key dilemma introduced in the beginning, so that we’re always wondering as the action proceeds how Austin’s going to wind up where the novel started. Getze also sets up the now-he-has-the-cash-now-doesn’t plot maneuver nicely. Still a protagonist who’s as shallow and false as this guy calls for snickers not cheers. No matter how much he loves his kids.