Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Fight Card #2: The Cutman - Jack Tunney (Mel Odom)

THE CUTMAN, by Mel Odom writing as Jack Tunney, is the second installment of the new Fight Card series, and it's every bit as good as the debut novel, Paul Bishop's FELONY FISTS.

This one is narrated by Mickey Flynn, brother of Patrick Flynn, the hero of the first book.  The Flynn brothers are orphans who grew up at St. Vincent's Orphanage (better known as Our Lady of the Glass Jaw) in Chicago, where they were taught to box by the priest Father Tim. Mickey travels the world as a sailor on the cargo ship Wide Bertha, and as THE CUTMAN opens, the ship is docked at Havana, Cuba, where Mickey and his colorful friends among the crew quickly run afoul of gangsters who have moved in and taken over Havana in those pre-Castro days. The friction escalates until Mick finds himself in the ring battling a vicious boxer who works for one of the local mob kingpins, with the fate of his ship riding on the outcome.

That long, epic battle is a classic, and Mickey Flynn would be right at home next to some of the "iron man" characters who populate Robert E. Howard's boxing stories.  There's plenty of local color and tough-guy action, and Odom keeps the story moving along at a great pace. The best thing about this novel, though, is Mick's voice, which is just about perfect.

Like FELONY FISTS, THE CUTMAN is pure entertainment, and Fight Card is shaping up to be a great series.  Highly recommended.

No comments: