No Turning Back, by Marcus Sakey

Four friends, one of whom is a bartender, meet up each Thursday evening in the bar. The owner of the bar is a bit of a jerk, so when he asks Alex, the bartender, to do a bit of extra-curricular work as a bodyguard, Alex hatches a plan which would have the four of them rob the owner and make off with the $250K that Alex has seen in the safe.

I think the thing that I most noticed was how the characters of the main protagonists appeared to change through the story: Alex begins as the sensible one, but becomes increasingly unhinged. Mitch is a bit of a wuss but ends telling the others what to do, and the other one (Brian?) is a gambling and cocaine addict to start with but manages to be the most heroic of the group. The only one who didn't change was the girl (can't remember her name). While these changes felt a bit odd, I think they were done plausibly, given the different pressures and stresses that the characters were under.

The story wasn't fantastically original, but I really enjoyed it: it was a workman-like production and felt real, unlike Prison Ship (which I read before this one). I found myself looking forward to hearing the next episode.

Completed : 29-Feb-2012 (audiobook)

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