Monday, February 26, 2024

Review: "A Night at the Shore" by Tony Knighton


A Night at the Shore
by Tony Knighton
Brash Books, 2024



Tony Knighton’s third Nameless Thief crime novel, A Night at the Shore, is a fast-driving, exciting, and downright cool heist tale where everything goes wrong in a hurry. Nameless—or the man of many names and none of them his own—takes what he thinks is a low-risk burglary job in the Jersey shore town of Margate; a stone’s throw from Atlantic City. Buddy, a hardnosed poker dealer at an A.C. casino, a fence, and a planner, throws the job to Nameless without many details.
     The target is a degenerate gambler named Charlie. Buddy doesn’t know his last name, but he, Buddy, is convinced Charlie’s gambling stake—maybe as much as $10,000—will be an easy snatch from his home. But for it to work, the job requires a quick turnaround to be timed with a big Atlantic storm forecasted in two days, on a Friday night. Nameless, distracted by his girlfriend’s sudden announcement that she is going away for an extended period (and maybe forever), neglects to research Charlie on his own. A big mistake since Nameless, after being interrupted searching Charlie’s house for valuables, spends the entire night running for his life—from a wicked storm and a cadre of extremely angry and homicidal cops—while trying to figure out why a simple burglary has made him so hot.
     A Night at the Shore is pure adrenaline; from its laconic, muscular prose, to it is compact and tight plotting, and to its lightning-fast pacing. Nameless is an anti-hero in every sense—he is violent, emotionless, and pitiless—but, much like Richard Stark’s Parker, his actions are governed by what is necessary for the situation. He only hurts those who threaten him and his violence never exceeds what is required, which gives the reader permission to root for the villain. Even better, Nameless takes his own lumps along with everyone else. A Night at the Shore is my first experience with Nameless and Tony Knighton’s writing in general, but it certainly won’t be my last.

Click here for the Kindle edition and here for the paperback at Amazon.

No comments: