Dustin, aka Dusty, tends to be a loner. At the same time he sort of wants a family. Not a 24 hour 7 day a week family, but a family he could use as sort of cover in between jobs. Teresa and her son Jeremy fit that bill.
The problem with inserting yourself into a family is that, if you are not very careful, their issues and problems become your problems and issues. Teresa’s problem, even if she does not know it is her old boyfriend, Davis. Jeremy’s problem is that he is a fourth grader getting seriously bullied at school, and looking for a father figure.
Dusty can help with those problems but he demands total and complete loyalty. That means the person who took Dusty’s hard earned money out of the suitcase stashed in the hall closet better return it quickly. Dusty is between bank jobs and there wasn’t enough for someone to go lifting a few bills out in the first place. It is also a matter of respect as what Dusty has is his and he has total and last say over it.
The search for the missing money is the first step on an intriguing trail in the life of Dusty, career criminal. Robbing banks and collecting on debts is just part of what he does. Violence fueled by many factors is just part of his personae. While the bank robbery brings a sense of adrenaline and purpose, something he rarely finds in other pursuits, it also serves as a means of peace and taking the edge of off the day to day stressors. A complicated man who finds a few minutes peace when he can find it whether it is with a bottle, a woman, or by beating the heck out a loser who didn’t pay his gambling debts, Dusty is constantly in search of something better. That search has ramifications for him as well as everyone he has any contact with in Uncle Dust: A Novel by Rob Pierre.
This is a very complicated read that features a rather unlikeable hero. Dusty craves the rush of what he does and has a grasp, at least to a certain point, on why he does it. Prone to violence and yet the violence is often on behalf of or because of someone he cares about. It is a bleak life and yet some of his most violent moments when he is using or abusing people are when he feels the most alive. He claims to not cares about others and yet is often is doing things to help others.
The result is a complicated trip in the hard boiled mind of a criminal who is fairly aware of his behavior and is unable to change. There is a certain redemptive quality at points in the read and which is often destroyed by the choices Dusty is later compelled to make. Published by All Due Respect Books, this is not a light or easy read and certainly is not for everybody. Uncle Dust is a very good read as well as an intriguing character study. When so many authors take the clichéd angle in such situations, Rob Pierce has done something truly different and well worth reading.
All Due Respect Books
E-Book (also available in paperback)
Material supplied by the publisher at time of publication in exchange for my objective review.
Kevin R. Tipple ©2015