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Ranchero by Rick Gavin

In Rick Gavin’s Ranchero, Nick Reid works as a repo man for a rent to own shop in the Mississippi Delta.  One day his old Nova breaks down and so his landlady Pearl lets him borrow her dead husband’s mint condition 1969 Ranchero.  When Nick tries to repossess a TV from some of the Dubois clan he ends up assaulted and the Dubois family gets away in the Ranchero.  Nick vows to get Pearl’s car back no matter what it takes and so he enlists the help of his fellow employee and best friend Desmond.  Desmond is an extremely large black man who drives a Geo Metro (all that was left to him after a nasty divorce) and he cannot fit into the driver’s seat of his car so he has to drive it from the back seat.  He is willing to help Nick in his quest as long as they can make frequent stops at various Sonic restaurants for coney dogs.  The characters in this book are hilarious-between the white trash Dubois clan, Pearl the landlady, and Desmond the fun never ends.  The swampy Delta setting, the violence, the meth labs-pair this book with Frank Bill’s Crimes in Southern Indiana which is a darker look at rural crime.  This was Rick Gavin’s first novel and I hope to hear more from him in the future.

Stacy W.

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