"Caught" by Lisa Moore

Twenty-five-year-old David Slaney has escaped from prison.  After being caught in the waters of Newfoundland bringing marijuana back from Colombia, he was sent to jail.  But he's out now and he wants back in the drug trade.  In addition to evading the police and capture, Slaney is heading across Canada to find his old partner so he can make his way to Mexico and back to Colombia.  But he isn't the only one on this fugitive journey, close behind him is a detective who plans to make this high-profile arrest no matter what it takes.

Caught, by Lisa Moore, is a thrilling, fast-paced novel that takes you on an escapade across Canada, down to South America and back and will almost have you cheering for the guy that has escaped from prison.  

Set in the late 1970's, there's a retro feel to the book, making it easy to feel like you're back in a different time.  The way that Slaney and his friend Hearn planned to smuggle drugs into the country had me laughing, thinking "that's how people used to do it?"  But it was a different time and a different way than we're used to.  

As Slaney crosses the country he meets various people who are willing to help him and others who want to turn in him, as well as reuniting with the woman he was with when he went to prison.  As he tries to outrun the police we see him also try to outrun his mistakes.

A departure from what Moore usually writes, at first glance this doesn't seem like it would be considered a work of literary genius, but her writing takes a sensational plot and turns it into a good work of literary fiction.  Even though you believe you see the ending coming (and what happens is probably what you're expecting), it doesn't lose your interest.

While much of the book is about character development and there are quite a few characters to sink your teeth into, there really is only one who stood out for me, Slaney.  I love a book where the character really shouldn't be loveable given what he's done, but the author writes them so beautifully you find yourself (if only for a brief time) on their side.  He was the only one I felt a pull toward, an understanding of.  I kind of wish there had been a bit more to Hearn, though I wonder if maybe I was just missing something.  The same with the police detective.  There was a lot I was left wondering as to how they were involved in all of this.

I really appreciated how along Slaney's journey from one end of Canada to the other, Moore knew when to just let him travel and when to stop and have a visit.  By this I mean, she didn't drag out the journey for the sake of it, nor did she quickly skip over it and into the caper.  There is just enough on either side, a book that pulls you through page after page without getting long or pointless.  It is the same with Slaney's journey south.

There is a nice balance to this book that I think will appeal to a variety of readers.  There is a combination of literary fiction and thriller that will fans of both genres wrapped up in the novel. 


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  2. Sounds good. What do you think its Giller chances are? Pretty good, if you ask me. I haven't heard such good things about the other contenders.


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