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Whiplash River (Shake Bouchon #2)

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  770 Ratings  ·  113 Reviews
Having left his life of crime behind, former getaway driver Charles “Shake” Bouchon has finally realized the dream of owning his own restaurant in Belize. Unfortunately, to do so he’s had to go deep in debt to a murderous local drug lord named Baby Jesus. And when Shake thwarts an attempted hit on an elderly customer named Quinn, things go from bad to worse.

Next thing Shak
Paperback, 320 pages
Published July 10th 2012 by William Morrow Paperbacks
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James Thane
Jun 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: shake-bouchon
This is the second very entertaining novel from Lou Berney featuring Charles "Shake" Bouchon, who first appeared in Gutshot Straight in 2010. Shake is a former wheel man and ex-con who's determined to put his checkered past behind him. He's made his way to the Caribbean paradise of Belize and realized his life-long dream of opening a restaurant.

It's a lot of work, and building a successful enterprise like this takes time and money. To make ends meet, Shake has borrowed money from a violent drug
Aug 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Ten hours flat, start to finish. Ten hours and I stopped to eat lunch and to eat dinner and that was the problem! Both were food that took both hands and how could I eat but also keep reading?

If I really, really liked Gutshot Straight, I loved loved loved this one. This guy is— hang with me here— the William Gay to Elmore Leonard’s Cormac McCarthy. At first glance, he’s got Elmore’s language, he’s onto the master’s tricks. But any look closer and it’s not even close to imitation. It’s not even h
Nov 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Elmore Leonard and/or Carl Hiaasen enthusiasts
Recommended to Still by: enjoyed Lou Berney's previous novel so much I had to own this one

Can I rate this six stars? Is that permissible?
I'm wrung out after that last 40 or so pages.
Lou Berney is such an awe inspiring writer - long time, no Dutch.
12 star rating.

This novel is a sequel to Lou Berney's Gutshot Straight .
As much as I enjoyed that particular novel, Whiplash River: A Novel is even better.
It's not necessary to have read that first entry in the series.

This is an international heist/crme caper with numerous killings.
Starts in Belize, ends in Cairo.
Amazing cast of memorable c
Carol Evans
Jun 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: crime
I thoroughly enjoyed Whiplash River by Lou Berney. It made me gasp and smile. It’s a romp, a caper, a slightly mad-cap thriller.

Opening line:

The view from the veranda was a killer.

A sugar-sand beach, palm trees, the Caribbean glittering beneath a full moon. A wooden pier curved out over the water, with a thatch-covered palapa perched at the end. Straight off a postcard.

Shake had bought the Sunset Breeze more than two years ago. You’d think he wouldn’t even notice the view any more, but he did. E
Aug 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I'm physically exhausted after reading this hellish good follow-up spree all the way to the pyramids.

Love the 'Shakes & Gina' team and all the new brazen, crazy, loveable characters - zowee Meg aka Peppermint Patty, big smile Evelyn, chatty Harry and batshit Babb. Tough Meg deserves to lead next and maybe Jasper can help a gal out.

Back to being exhausted: the reader is never in on the con and you can't guess quick enough, the author has so many balls in the air and he's a consummate juggler
Daniel Villines
Dec 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
From cover to cover, Whiplash River is completely entertaining. It grabs your attention from the start with an exotic destination that happens to be one my favorite places: the Caribbean. Then the book pulls you in, willingly, with its wonderful characters. Each one is different and unique, but more to the point, each one is real in terms of their individual hopes, regrets, and personalities. There are no favorites, which makes switching between storylines a real pleasure. As you leave one chara ...more
Kirk Smith
Dec 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: top-noire
Tone: pitch-perfect. Tempo: driving. Enjoyment: 10. One of the most enjoyable books of this year! Great plot and adventure, lovable criminal characters. Recommend: Everyone.
Jul 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: b, 2016

Having left his life of crime behind, former getaway driver Charles "Shake" Bouchon has finally realized the dream of owning his own restaurant in Belize. Unfortunately, to do so he's had to go deep in debt to a murderous local drug lord named Baby Jesus. And when Shake thwarts an attempted hit on an elderly customer named Quinn, things go from bad to worse.

Next thing Shake knows, his restaurant's gone up in flames and he's on the run from Baby Jesus, two freelance assassins, and
Michael Martz
May 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
'Whiplash River' is a fast-paced sequel to Lou Berney's Gutshot Straight, with lots of whacky characters, humor, action, exotic locales, violence, a little sex, and a plot that's made for the movies. I'm not sure who'd play the part of the inimitable Shake, but there's everything here for a high budget blockbuster.

Shake had a problem. His restaurant wasn't doing well, he was late in repaying a loan to a gangster, a pretty FBI agent is tracking him down for his past sins, people are shooting at h
Kara Jorges
Dec 31, 2012 rated it really liked it
I loved Lou Berney's first novel, Gutshot Straight, so I was thrilled when I saw he had written another. I was even happier when I realized this book also starred Shake Bouchon, ex-wheelman for the Armenian mob. Shake apparently decided to start living quietly and bought himself a bar in Belize. Life would be great, if it wasn't for the fact that he owes cocaine runner Baby Jesus several thousand dollars he can't pay back. Then his bar gets shot up when someone tries to kill one of his customers ...more
Joe Young
Jun 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A remarkable action packed story with a basically "Good Man" career criminal wheel man, Charles "Shake" Bouchon, who has paid his price and is trying to go straight as a highly leveraged restaurant owner in Belize. Characters abound filling out the story with an assortment of memorable, strange people ranging from a FBI Special Agent taking her vacation in Belize to try to squeeze Shake for damning info on the Armenian Mob to a loving pair of "Would Be" assassins trying to earn their credentials ...more
Jul 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Yeah this is an author to follow.

Laugh out loud dialog, very well written characters. Author Berney takes the time to develop minor characters, and it pays off in the reading. Whiplash River takes you on a wild ride, yet I'm eager for the next one.
Sep 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
I have to admit that I had a hard time warming up to a criminal as the main character. He is described as too nice a guy for the life he's led and not nice enough for any other. He is charming and even sincere. He has done some prison time and he just seems to keep getting tangled in the seedy side of life, such as when he takes a lone from the Belize drug lord to get his restaurant going. These bad occurrences just seem to happen TO him without his purposefully seeking them out. He was a well d ...more
Lori L (She Treads Softly)
Aug 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
Whiplash River by Lou Berney is one fun, crazy adventure. Charles "Shake" Bouchon has supposedly left his life of crime behind to pursue his dream of opening a restaurant in Belize, which was, unfortunately, financed through a risky loan from Baby Jesus, the head of a local drug smuggling operation. Suddenly Shake's dream literally explodes and he finds himself on the run with a senior citizen, Harry Quinn, whose mysterious past seems to be just another long story waiting to be told.

Shake saved
Jun 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I received this book in a Goodreads giveaway. There is an understanding that a review will be written and published (somewhere) but it isn't a requirement.

I didn't read "Gutshot Straight," the first Shake Bouchon book, but I didn't feel that was detrimental to the enjoyment of this book. And I really did enjoy it; it's a fun romp with interesting characters and it's well told.
The author starts the rollercoaster ride straight from the beginning and it doesn't let up. There are twists and turns th
Jun 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this novel. This is the second book to feature Shake Bouchon and Gina Clement, two con artists with a history. (I hadn’t read the first book of the series, Gutshot Straight, but didn’t need to. Author Lou Berney does a good job filling in first-time readers nicely, while also giving gentle reminders to fans of the first novel.) Shake is now trying to live a clean life running a restaurant in Belize. But the need for cash and the appearance of a man named Quinn (not to mention th ...more
Jul 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
Wow! I really like these characters (especially the repeat characters, Shake and Gina, from "Gutshot Straight"). I like this author's writing style. I like the dialogue (although, it wasn't quite as clever and pithy throughout the ENTIRE novel, as it was in "Gutshot Straight"). I like they way the story is almost spontaneous, in places - - you just don't see certain plot-twists coming. And, I like the overall fun and casual attitude of the prose. Some of the characters are pretty despicable peop ...more
Oct 28, 2012 rated it liked it
Shake Bouchon was livin’ the dream.

For years, he’d been a wheelman for the Armenian mob, but he’d gotten away clean. He bought restaurant on the beach in Belize, where he hoped to start fresh. The location was postcard-perfect, sea breezes and tiki torches and tourists with credit cards. Should have been everything he needed for a perfect retirement in Lou Berney’s Whiplash River.

Unfortunately, the dream has a mortgage. Shake owes an arm and a leg and possibly other vital organs to a local gangs
Kathleen Huben
Jul 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
Whiplash River is second in Lou Berney's series featuring former getaway driver, Charles "Shake" Bourchon. I've read and thoroughly enjoyed both books and do believe it really helps to have read Gutshot Straight before Whiplash River.
Bourchon is the classic "criminal with a sense of honor" - a basically good guy who's taken a couple of wrong turns but still has a strong sense of "right and wrong" (he would never turn in any of his former associates to lighten his sentencing), and is now attempt
Jun 19, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads, mystery
I enjoyed this book and I flew through it. It's action packed with adventure, excitement and danger. A good weekend or vacation read. I recommend to those who like James Bond type movies :)
This book had a couple story lines that all came together in the end, maybe a bit unbelievably random the way they took place. A little choppy, perhaps. But they did all fold together and were quite nice.
I think the character of Evelyn is a complete waste of space. Nothing about her was necessary, especially
Jun 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
Whiplash River takes the reader on a wild ride from the beach paradise of Belize to Cairo Egypt. The adventure begins when a masked gunman tries to kill a diner in Shake Bouchon's seaside restaurant, and from then on the adventure never stops. Readers of the author's first book Gutshot Straight will remember Shake and will be happy to know that his girlfriend from that book Gina is in this one as well. The man the gunman was trying to kill is named Quinn and after Shake spends some time with Qui ...more
Sep 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
When former American gangster for the Armenians, Charlie, or Shake as he prefers to go by, decides to start life over again, he picks Belize. A nice coastal town with a beach, a breeze, and a restaurant all his own. No chance of finding trouble here. But trouble finds Shake in Whiplash River by Lou Berney. A loan shark drug lord named Baby Jesus, an elderly man with a hit out on him, a lovely FBI agent, a former flame, and a couple with guns for hire keep this story running on all cylinders. It' ...more
Apr 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
This started off pretty slow for me. I wasn't sure I would even finish it. But about 50 pages in I realized that I wanted to know what was going to happen. Will Evelyn get the Armenians? Would Shake get the girl? Would Sticky Jimmy kill them? And the big score in Cairo, how would they pull that off? And what happens to Meg? Does she give up or get justice for Terry? How all those work into one story that all makes sense in the end is why I gave this book 4 stars in the end.
Sep 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
My first novel by this author and it was so much fun. I found myself looking forward to opening it every time I closed it. I found that I enjoyed every character. The plot was fun and fast paced and I never could have guessed any of it. I'm going to have to read more by Berney. He may be one of my new faves.
May 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
Think of this as a really good blockbuster intrigue movie, like Oceans 11. A great story with lots of twists and turns that makes it fun for the reader.
The loss of the 5th star is due to the very whiplash nature of the book's editing. Lots of jump cuts between characters and locations hindered the flow--but it's not like we weren't warned with the title.
Feb 09, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015-audio
3.5 stars- fun story, good recording, not at all deep. Nice little break from my usual genres.
Apr 05, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: crime-fiction
A sequel to Gutshot Straight. I'm glad he didn't continue the series -- his third novel, which I loved, was more serious. This one is just a rather silly caper novel.
May 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
Compares itself to "Ocean's 11" at one point. Not far off the mark. Witty and entertaining with a multi-layered storyline. I'd recommend this to those who enjoy a good caper.
Carol Jean
Jul 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I was so happy to see Shake again, I got tears in my eyes! Complicated, delicious, funny and fun.
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Lou Berney is the Edgar Award-winning author of The Long and Faraway Gone (2015), Whiplash River (2012), and Gutshot Straight (2010). His short fiction has appeared in publications such as The New Yorker, Ploughshares, the New England Review, and the Pushcart Prize anthology.
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Shake Bouchon (3 books)
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“She reached for the ketchup. He laughed because he thought she was kidding. She wasn’t kidding. The empanadas looked like something you might reasonably put ketchup on. He stopped laughing when he saw her face. So she laughed.” 0 likes
“I told him I’d been there myself and I have. If you’re human, you’ve been there. I’m right, aren’t I? You go there, you come back, you hope the journey makes you a better person.” 0 likes
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