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The Rip Off
Jim Thompson
Read by Brian Troxell

Hachette Audio
March 1, 2012 / ASIN: B007FN073U
Mystery/Noir / Audiobook (unabridged) / 6 hours and 8 minutes

Reviewed by Jo Rogers

The Rip Off is the story of Britt Rainstar, a mixed blood Indian who found himself in trouble through no fault of his own. He had married Connie Bannerman, after she claimed to be pregnant. Shortly after the marriage, Britt and Connie had a car wreck, injuring Connie but letting Britt walk away with only a few minor scuff marks. The old man Bannerman claimed Britt tried to kill his daughter for the hundred-thousand-dollar insurance policy, double indemnity if she died in an accident. Britt agreed to leave the Bannerman home if they would pursue the charges no further.

Britt returned to the family home, a large house sitting on the edge of an illegal garbage landfill. It was illegal in that the garbage company had claimed imminent domain rights on Indian land granted in perpetuity to the Rainstar family. Britt didn't take the garbage company to court because he always took the path of least resistance. Needless to say, he had set himself up as an easy mark for every unscrupulous person in the world.

Thus it was that he'd no sooner contracted to write pamphlets for a company, he got a letter from Connie, who asked him to send money to help with her medical expenses. Her father's savings were exhausted and it appeared she would always be an invalid. She had refused to give him a divorce, but she never said why.

The Rip Off is a story that keeps you wondering what is going to happen to poor Britt next as he stumbles from the frying pan into the fire. The characters are interesting and believable, as is the plot. In the dangerous dramas he falls into, there are brief areas of comic relief. So, listen to The Rip Off and learn to not be so sympathetic to every hard-luck story you hear.

Reviewer's Note: Contains sex, violence, profanity
Reviewed 2012
© 2012