How it begins:
Patton is fucking a girl.
He knows he shouldn’t be fucking her, but he is.
He thinks he’s in love.
It’s a fool notion.
Right. If that made you shudder and wrinkle your nose like Hyacinth being called Bucket instead of Bouquet, best you leave now, there’s the door, thanks for stopping by, please come back another day for another review with less fucking!
(Okay so I already know I won’t be able to use this review for Amazon since those prissy you-know-whats will never accept this ?)
Anyone still here?! Hellooooooooooo? If you’re staying because of the fucking, I’m so sorry, but I’m pretty sure we’re done. Well, Patton is done anyway. And done for too. See, that girl he knows he shouldn’t be fucking (well look at that, it seems we weren’t done after all ?) is Tammy, the daughter of the local MC’s Sergeant-at-Arms. For those of you who haven’t watched Sons of Anarchy (Seriously?! Why not?!), MC stands for motorcycle club and the Sergeant-at-Arms is the meanest, baddest badass of all the badasses in the club. Now, SAMCRO (Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club Redwood Original – really, go watch the show already!) weren’t really pussycats, but the Bad Bastards? Holy crap, they’re like caged tigers that haven’t been fed for a while. And Tammy’s father, well, let’s just say he doesn’t take too kindly to young men trying to get it on with his little girl. Not that he’s protective, he’s more possessive than protective. And when I say he doesn’t take too kindly to those amorous men, I mean they are lucky to get away with their lives. But see, it seems that Patton has not learned his lesson. He loves Tammy and he knows her father is not only a member of the Bad Bastards, he’s also a bad bastard, and a mad one too (in all meanings of the word), and he doesn’t use those fists on his daughter’s lovers alone, he’s not above teaching his old lady a lesson too. Or two. Or five. Yep, he’s that kind of guy. And Patton is looking to solve this particular problem once and for all…
So let’s be perfectly clear, if you’re looking for a romanticised tale about an MC, where the main badass might be a bad bastard to his enemies but never to his loved ones, and he’s really a lovely and loving man underneath, and he’s kinda hot, like a sexy diamond in the rough? Yeah, look elsewhere, this ain’t it! (Come on, you didn’t really think Fahrenheit 13 would publish THAT kind of book, did you?) It’s brutal, it’s gritty, it’s bloody and it contains a lot of violence, especially against women. Don’t let that deter you. Paul Heatley does not victimise his female characters, he puts them through the ringer, he makes them suffer, but Christ on a cracker, he makes them fight back too, none of his female characters could be called weak.
Bad Bastards does not really focus on the MC life itself, but the things that are mentioned or hinted at, and the behaviour of its sergeant ring very true. For the record, I’m not so much referring to Sons of Anarchy here (although I’ve read that the creators spoke to actual outlaw MC members to get their facts straight), but more to a true story about an undercover agent who infiltrated the Mongols MC. (What can I say, I have a bit of a thing for motorcycle gangs ?).
So, if you’re looking for an intense crime novel, look no more, it doesn’t get any better than this! At 180 pages it’s a quick read, I read it cover to cover in a work day, had to tear myself away from it to actually get some work done. (Left it lying on my desk though, so I could keep admiring that gorgeous cover.) Highly recommended to all lovers of (fictional!) crime!
Bad Bastards is available to buy directly from Fahrenheit Press here. Don’t forget: if you buy the paperback, they’ll gift you the eBook! Support your indie publishers during the Indie Crime Crawl (and every other day of the year)! And remember: