There’s a wise warning I’ve heard before: “If someone asks you to trust them — don’t.” It’s one of those expressions that sits in the back of my head, and hopefully makes me a bit more savvy in dealing with others.
It appears that most of the characters in Peter Leonard’s Trust Me never heard of this expression. The two words “Trust me” are used multiple times throughout the book, and each time they are, we (as the all-knowing reader) get to chuckle a bit at the naive people who go along with it.
That’s one of the funnest parts of reading this book. Every time the words “trust me” appear on the page, we know that no one should, but we also know they will, and it’s that irony that creates the environment for a fast shuffle-game of money that is an enjoyable, albeit shallow, read.
The Blurb from the Back
The first mistake Karen Delaney made was entrusting $300,000 to her boyfriend, Samir, the head of an illegal bookmaking operation. The second was breaking up with him — because Samir holds a $300,000 grudge. A few months later, Karen sees a way to get her money back when two thieves break into her house in the middle of the night. She proposes a scheme to steal Samir’s safe, but Karen soon realizes she’s in way over her head as things begin to spin out of control.
Trust Me moves at breakneck speed through the affluent suburbs of Detroit and Chicago as Karen is pursed by O’Clair, an ex-con / ex-cop who works for Samir and wants the money for his own retirement; by Ricky, Samir’s nephew, who sees the money as a way to pay off his own escalating gambling debts; by the thieves who’ve been double crossed; and by two ruthless hit men who view the money as their stake in the American dream.
Follow the Money
Trust Me wastes no time in setup and throws us down right in the middle of the action. The book opens with Karen Delaney convincing the thieves that broke into her house to trust her, and we soon learn that this is just the beginning of her plans.
The fast-paced nature of the book makes this a speedy read. However, it got a bit tough to follow as we soon have multiple characters chasing both Karen and the money. I had to flip around a bit at the beginning to remember the connections of what I thought were insignificant characters that were suddenly brought into the forefront. As the book progressed, though, and I had everything straight, the fluid nature of the plot became a fun ride.
The most enjoyable aspect of the story is the way people all end up being affected by Karen and her money. Just when you think you’ve got the next step figured out, something unexpected happens. Sometimes in very funny ways, and sometimes in somewhat tragic ways.
A Shallow Pool
While Trust Me presents a fun ride and a twisty chase, I have to say that I didn’t feel there were really truly memorable characters in the book. They were enjoyable, and they served their purpose, but I didn’t feel like I knew any of them by the end of the book.
Even Karen Delaney, the main character, comes off a little thin. Now, after I’ve read the whole book, I’m still not sure whether I’m rooting for her or not. She has a way of using people for her own ends that made me not sympathize with her situation as much as I think the author wanted me to.
I say that while realizing that the focus of this book was not the character development, but the non-stop action the characters were involved in — and Trust Me certainly delivers on that.
Who would like this book: People looking for a fast-paced adventure with plenty of twists
Who would not like this book: People who are more concerned with depth of character than twists of plot
Note: This book was sent to me as a review copy. While I try not to let this alter my review, I feel that it is only fair, in the interest of full disclosure, to let you know.