Five Star, Feb 2003, 25.95, 211 pp.
Northwestern University journalist major Nashua Hansen obtains an internship at the San Bernardino Ledger. At the beginning of his drive west at the Evanston on ramp, he provides a ride to biker Homer, whose bike went up in flames. In San Bernardino, Nash meets waitress Wendy at a Denny's. They go to a drive in movie where Nash happens upon his first story, a bear trap near the concession stand ripping into the foot of a teenage patron.
Nash sells a follow-up on the posh new drive-in theatres, but angers his editor Lydia Sorenson when he does. Nash visits the Star Time Theater when the manager Mr. Snipes assaults him, breaking his wrist. Later, he interviews business mogul Evan Carr, who owns these drive-ins. As he digs deeper, Nash finds himself in trouble with his boss, the police, and a survivalist cult that reaches into the highest levels of the state government all who want him silent and residing in Illinois.
NASH, RAMBLER is an exciting investigative tale that reads somewhat like an amateur sleuth story because the hero is a rookie still learning his trade outside the classroom. The story line emphasizes the craziness of Southern California through the myopic eyes of a beleaguered Midwesterner. Elmore Leonard fans need to make room for another wacky book similar in many ways to Get Shorty.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner
Nash Hansen, young investigative reporter for a San Bernardino newspaper, gets in over his head when he discovers a man caught in a rusty bear trap at a drive-in theater. This bloody incident leads Nash into a story involving crooked real-estate developers, international gun smugglers, the Hells Angels and a survivalist church. Can Nash survive long enough to file the most important story of his life? 157 pages, $2. This is a MightyWords.com recommended novel, and the subject of features in Fiction Writer and newspapers in California, Illinois and Missouri, with a 5-star (top) reader rating at MightyWords. (Nash, Metropolitan, the second Nash Hansen thriller, is also available on MightyWords.com.)
This report prepared by Frank Sennett