A Perfect Shot: A Novel. Robin Yocum. Prometheus Books. April 2018. 336 pp. ISBN: 9781633884175.
Nicholas “Duke” Ducheski is famous for his basketball performance in the small town of Mingo Junction, Ohio. He thought his amazing skill shown in the state championship game would win him scholarships galore in colleges but that wasn’t the case. Still he is the shining star of this steel mining town forever, but he doesn’t want to live on past laurels. So he sets out to do something he can call successful. At first he is forced to work in the mines but then decides to start his own restaurant, “Duke’s Place.”
Duke marries but it’s not a good union at all. Add to his unhappiness is the fact that at age forty, after he first opens up his restaurant, his hoodlum brother-in-law, “Little Tony” DeMarco, shows up and thinks he’s going to get a piece of the pie as part of the local Mafia. Everyone with any brains at all is mortally frightened of Tony, whose only talents lie in knowing how to beat victims to a pulp or murder them if they don’t cooperate with the local “muscle.”
Now one might say it’s easier to cough up some money to find peace and protection, but Duke isn’t made of that stuff. All he wants is to run his business, do well, and eventually get a divorce from his wife who refuses to comply with his requests. Life is beginning to get truly miserable to Duke. But the reader will be surprised by the plan Duke devises to rid himself of the prevailing “thorns” in his flesh and business.
No spoilers here. Suffice to say that most Mafioso stories are quite predictable; this isn’t one of them. Stay with the reading as the action picks up and justice is served in the most astonishing manner. Duke will pay a price but it’s not one any reader can predict.
Nicely crafted crime thriller – definitely plotted as a “perfect shot!”