Spuddie's Reviews > The Shotgun Rule

The Shotgun Rule by Charlie Huston
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's review
Oct 04, 2010

it was amazing
Read in October, 2010

Stand-alone noir about four teenaged boys--brothers George and Andy, and their friends Paul and Hector--each with their own family and personal demons that they try to obliterate with the usual weapons of alcohol, drugs and a concerted effort at appearing not to give a shit about anything. Minor criminals--thieving, smoking weed and drinking, getting by with doing as little schooling as possible, they go up against the Arroyo brothers, big brutes who are more hardened criminals, when their younger brother steals Andy's bike.

The foursome sets up the Arroyos so that two of them get arrested, one of them shot in the leg during the arrest--and then the boys waltz in to their place and steal a bunch of their stuff--including weed, some jewelry, and unknown to the others, Paul also lifts a huge bag of crystal meth. They bring the jewelry to an older friend of theirs to fence, and make enquiries about unloading it, (Paul discreetly asking about the meth also) none of them realizing that person he's brought the stuff to was exactly the *wrong* person, which leads down a very slippery slope and into a series of events that will affect them all for the rest of their lives.

Brutal and violent as per Huston's usual style, this is an excellent read if you don't mind those things. Gritty, depressing, with realistic dialogue, the story illustrates perfectly how one decision can impact everything else not only in your own life but the lives of many others. Oddly enough, despite the violent nature of the book, the title actually has nothing to do with guns as I assumed it had--it's referring to the rule involved when getting into a car and calling "shotgun!" (Who gets to ride in the front passenger seat.) LOL

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