Kathleen Maher's Reviews > The Grease Monkey's Tale

The Grease Monkey's Tale by Paul Burman
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it was amazing
bookshelves: thoroughly-read-and-enjoyed

Paul Burman's The Grease Monkey's tale is an exciting off-road adventure. A modern noir-ish thriller, the story relates how Nic the mechanic—the grease monkey of the title—takes one wrong step and finds himself spiraling into ever-more dangerous circumstances.

The story begins entertainingly with a dangerously attractive woman (possibly named Siobhan—possibly not), peeling into Nic's garage and coyly urging him to fix her Porsche–even though there's a dealership down the street. Nic is mildly suspicious but being a man, after all, quickly becomes romantically involved with her. But Siobhan has a mysterious job, and mysterious friends, and before we know it, Nic has been arrested for dealing in stolen goods, fired from his job, and Siobhan has disappeared.

Despite avoiding a jail sentence, Nic is consequently hard-pressed to find honest work with this blot on his record. Through more odd and faintly ominous coincidences, he finds work in a distant rural town of Gimbly, where some strange, secretive business is underway. And of course Nic is determined to figure out what it is.

In "The Grease Monkey's Tale" like his earlier novel, "The Snowing and Greening of Thomas Passmore," Paul Burman shows a deft touch for using atmosphere to slowly unveil his characters' inner lives. "The Grease Monkey's Tale," employs noir-thriller standards to jump-start a richly nuanced portrait of a man whose life runs off the rails. Burman sets the stage according to the conventions of a thriller, but the story goes into the dark corners of human emotion and keeps on turning up surprises. "The Grease Monkey's Tale" gave me great pleasure; it's a story I won't forget.

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Reading Progress

Started Reading
July 1, 2010 – Finished Reading
September 7, 2010 – Shelved
September 26, 2015 – Shelved as: thoroughly-read-and-enjoyed

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