Thursday, June 13, 2013
Review of Roll With It by Nick Place (Hardie Grant, 2013)
Comic crime capers always have elements that are a little exaggerated or stretch the imagination, with characters that are somewhat larger than life. At the same time, the story has to have some ring of believability about it. It’s a difficult balance to perfect. For the most part, Nick Place manages it with Roll With It, a tale about a good cop’s fall from grace and his increasingly desperate attempt to gain redemption. Laver the career cop demoted from elite squad to bike duty, Jake the naive supermarket assistant, Lou the rebellious green activist, Stig the loser, low-level criminal, and Westie his violent side-kick, are all well-penned and engaging characters whose lives become entangled. For the most part the plot also works well, with Jake pursuing Lou, Stig’s former girlfriend, whilst Stig is also trying to win her back whilst also offloading a consignment of drugs stolen in a different part of the country. However, I didn’t quite buy Laver’s initial or ongoing quarantining, nor his relationship to his fiancée which seemed way past over and certainly not worth pursuing. The tale is told in a nice tell not show style, with a gently comic voice, and a nice sense of place with respect to the city streets of Melbourne. Overall, Roll With It is a light, enjoyable and amusing read.