Sunday, November 3, 2019

Book Review: 'Brooklyn Bankster' by Lance Morcan

Brooklyn Bankster by Lance Morcan

‘The Trustpower Financial Heist Gang’ and Bill the Mystery Man

New Zealand novelist and screenwriter Lance Morcan is a former journalist and newspaper editor with twenty published books to his credit. While he regularly writes in collaboration with his son James, this short story is Lance’s debut mystery thriller. Stepping away from reportage into the purely literary scene is a solid move for him as this fine short story reveals. 

Lance builds his scene well as we are invited into the focal bank scenario where the action takes place – ‘It was not yet mid-day in New York and newly promoted bank manager Henry Timmins was already stressed – and with good reason…Timmins was so consumed by his problems as he served yet another customer at the front counter he didn’t notice the large, nondescript, blue, Ford Transit van that pulled up outside the bank’s front door. Nor did he notice the four masked gunmen who climbed form the van and entered the bank as their ride drove off as quickly as it had arrived…’

And we encounter Bill Hogan, ‘a white-haired gentleman who wore his long hair in a ponytail and who had the look of an aging hippy…With his bushy moustache, year-round tan, cool, tinted specs and his casual sneakers and clothes, he looked like a young sixty and wouldn’t have been out of place at Woodstock.’ This well described character becomes the bank robbers’ hostage and the crew escapes. Enter Detective Rochelle Rider - and circumstances alter…and to relate more would spoil the denouement and climax.

Obviously written by a man who understands cinematic detail, this is a superb short story, completely involving, offered in fine contemporary conversational manner that holds the attention for the first word to the last – ransom notes, delivery of ‘particles of Bill,’ and the final splendid surprise. This is a very fine fiction debut by Lance Morcan. More please. 

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.