Setting The Record Straight by Chris Worthington

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Setting The Record Straight by Chris Worthington

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Category: General Fiction
Rating: 3/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: An unusual premise - a third party extracting personal revenge for money - and a damaged protagonist make for a good story. Chris Worthington popped into Bookbag Towers to chat to us.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Yes
Pages: 224 Date: November 2011
Publisher: Matador
ISBN: 978-1848767089

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When he was twelve Geoff Dealer returned to his Texas home and walked in on what looked like a frightening situation. A man, trousers round his ankles was pushing his mother up against a wall and she was squealing. Mindful of his father's advice about using a gun Geoff grabbed it from the gun cabinet and injured the man with his first shot. The second killed him. It was their neighbour and his father's best friend - who'd obviously been more than a friend to his mother. Lizzie Dealer took the blame - saying that she'd been attacked and had grabbed the gun from her son - but her husband was arrested and was killed in prison a couple of days later.

Twenty years on, Geoff has not seen his mother since the day which still gives him nightmares. Then he discovers that she has cancer and wants a reconciliation. It must be something in the air because he gets a message on his phone from an ex-girlfriend. Christine's been attacked and is in hospital seriously injured. It's a plea for help and despite the fact that their relationship was over a while ago and Geoff is in Los Angeles he drops everything and flies to New York, planning to go on to Texas to see his mother later.

Geoff has something on his mind. It was an idea he suggested to Christine and he's wondering if she followed up on it. He's been making some money by offering his services to people who feel that they've suffered at the hands of someone else. For a (not insubstantial) fee he'll set the record straight by making them suffer in the same sort of way which they've disadvantaged his client . It's a sort of moral - and occasionally financial - rebalancing of the books. Is this what's put Christine in hospital?

There's a great sense of place in the story, from the balmy breezes in LA, the searing heat in Texas and the overwhelming noise and grubbiness of New York. It's impossible NOT to feel that you're there. Geoff - JJ when he was a child - is a damaged personality and it's easy to understand his moral confusion. He did what he thought was right, but it led to the deaths of two people and twenty years of lies. His moral compass is off true north despite his best efforts to right it. The women in the story are a little two-dimensional compared to Geoff, but then it really is his story to tell.

I'd like to thank the author for sending a copy to the Bookbag - it's an unusual premise for a story and it was interesting to see how it turned out.

If you enjoy books set in America then you might appreciate our Top Ten Books About America.

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Buy Setting The Record Straight by Chris Worthington at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Setting The Record Straight by Chris Worthington at Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy Setting The Record Straight by Chris Worthington at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Setting The Record Straight by Chris Worthington at

Bookinterviews.jpg Chris Worthington was kind enough to be interviewed by Bookbag.


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