Pull and Pray by Angel Luis Colon Down and Out Books July 30th 2018
An estranged family member! A score to end all scores! Continued gastrointestinal issues! Five years after surviving the most harrowing heist of her life, Fantine Park is lured back to the United States by her aunt. The bait: a lead on the identity of her mother’s killer and a score known as the ‘pension plan’, a piece of software that can literally pay out in perpetuity if they can get their hands on it in time.
Working with a team of actual professionals with their own motivations; Fan’s loyalties and beliefs will be tested as nothing is as it seems; especially when one of the members of this crew may have been the last person to see her mother alive.
It’s going to be lies, murder, and gas station hot dogs all the way down as Fan races to get the answers about the day her mother died and maybe, just maybe, the kind of cash that will pull her away from a continued life of crime.
Pull and Pray is short but definitely not sweet, in fact, the grittiness of the novel oozed from the pages.
It’s main protagonist, Fan, was a woman out to settle a score, to find the person who killed her mother, and if that involved working with her Aunt Matty on last heist then that is what she would do.
Fan was most definitely hardcore, not one to mess around, even if that meant throwing the odd punch, and that is what I liked about her. It was so refreshing to have a very strong female character, one who could stand up for herself, a match fro any man!
Fan was very direct and to the point perfectly matching Colon’s narrative. It was a narrative that had no frills, that was economical and sparse, a word never wasted. There were very dark undertones, violence never faraway, as the promise of a once in a life time payout drove Fan and Matty to take more risks, the stakes rising higher with every page that I turned.
Yet, I could sense that underneath Fan, in particular had a softer, mellower side, that she longed for a normal, ordinary life, a victim of her up bringing, that somehow trapped her. I am not sure that it was the authors intention to raise such issues but it did make me think about real life, and how easy it is for people to be trapped in a criminal lifestyle just like Fan, with no means of fighting their way out.
Putting the characters aside, the premise of the novel, a heist to end all heists, required s little concentration to understand the complexities. Once instilled in my brain, I admired Colon’s ingenuity and the research that had obviously gone into creating such a criminal feat. The operation was not without its mishaps making for some frantic page turning at times to discover what would happen next.
The shortness of the novel meant that it was fast paced, and full of tension and drama, and an ending that was surprising. I did feel that Colon left the door open for Fan to return at some point in the future and it would be very interesting to see what gets upto next.
So, if you are looking for dark, gritty, fast paced with great female characters then Pull and Pray is the novel for you.
I would like to thank Down and Out Books for a copy of Pull and Pray to read and review and to Damp Pebbles Blogtours for inviting My Bookish Blogspot to participate in the blogtour.
About the author
Angel Luis Colón is a Derringer and Anthony Award shortlisted author. His published works include the titles: PULL & PRAY, NO HAPPY ENDINGS, the BLACKY JAGUAR series of novellas, the short story anthology; MEAT CITY ON FIRE (AND OTHER ASSORTED DEBACLES), and the upcoming HELL CHOSE ME (2019).
His short fiction has appeared in multiple web and print publications including Thuglit, Literary Orphans, and Great Jones Street. He also hosts the podcast, the bastard title.
Keep up with him on Twitter via @GoshDarnMyLife