Rosepoint Rating: Five Stars
“You are a wise ass!” he said. “Better than a dumb ass,” I quipped.
After his brothers are murdered, a New York mob lawyer testifies against his associates and is forced to enter WITSEC (the Witness Protection Program). He and his wife are relocated to a rural area outside a small town in Colorado where he is compelled to adapt to his new life under the constant threat of mafia reprisal. Reflexively resisting his immersion into all things country, this life long city boy meets and adopts a loquacious mule and befriends his closest neighbors, who have even greater secrets to conceal.
A renegade US Marshall, a lesbian couple that includes a powerful psychic-medium-witch and an ex-army ranger complete his new circle of friends. When the mob associates are released due to the lawyer’s intentionally prejudicial testimony at trial, they come gunning for him before the retrial can occur. When Wise Guys meet the Wise Ass and friends all hell breaks loose.
With a title like The Wise Ass and that picture on the cover, the book is not a difficult choice, but if you needed more than that, the blurb should do you in nicely. Still, that doesn’t even begin to introduce you to the brilliantly unique narrative the author has penned with copious prose and humorous passages.
I was excited to read this one as I knew it would be different—I didn’t know just how different it would be. Forget trying to suss out the plot, just roll with it and enjoy.
The protagonist, Jimmy McCarthy, is so well developed the reader will become engaged almost immediately. He has a wacky sense of humor, family, and philosophy that pulls you in. His wife, Gina, is perfect, also well drawn and together with Jimmy create a strong, invested bond with the reader.
Jimmy, however, makes a questionable decision against his former Mafia family boss which lands him in the WITSEC program as Jimmy Moran in rural northern Colorado. In his own private Twilight Zone (cue in TZ music theme), he begins to meet his neighbors, both humans and otherwise. I loved all the support characters—each very special. (No “wise” guys here—all of those are back in New York.) I loved the author’s frequent references to Celtic lore and common Latin phrases, easily melding educational references with sci-fi nuances. The novel is peppered with wise cracks and quotables:
“…you don’t have to dig very deep to find the strong vein of superstition that permeates the soul of any Celt.”
“Sorry Sir! The Irish are fighting amongst themselves and the Lions refuse to come out.”
“No trespassing. Violators will be shot. Survivors will be shot again.”
“I remembered what my sister always used to say to me when we were children whenever I was facing some seemingly insurmountable problem: ‘Leap and the net will appear.’” (American naturalist, John Burroughs)
The storyline progresses gently into the conclusion that suddenly goes all brilliant intense to THE STORM and switches POVs from each of the support characters to Jimmy, ending with… “Then the wind came…” Masterful way of building tension—OMG—such a dynamic way to hit, and hit hard, the climax.
This tale covers all the bases: humor, family, love, suspense, thriller, and the supernatural—somehow interwoven in a natural, almost believable way. Well-plotted, well-paced, and highly entertaining. The pulse-pounding climax alone is worth the price of the book, but don’t skip the rest, it’s just way too much fun.
FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the publisher and NetGalley. I can’t WAIT for the next installment!
Genre: Legal Thrillers, Fantasy Action & Adventure, Paranormal & Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Black Rose Writing
- ISBN-10 : 168433635X
- ISBN-13 : 978-1684336357
- ASIN: B08V9GR7FZ
Print Length: 242 pages
Publication Date: To be released February 18, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
The Author: Tom McCaffrey is a professional retread. Having successfully worked in NYC as an attorney in the entertainment field for decades, he moved with his wife to the outskirts of a small town in Northern Colorado, and pursued his first love, writing. He believes that a good writer is like a good attorney. His written work must convince his readers that the view he is sharing is honest and true.
[Goodreads] Tom McCaffrey is a born-and-bred New Yorker who, after a long career working as a successful entertainment attorney in Manhattan, relocated with his wife to a small town in Northern Colorado to follow a road less travelled and return to his first passion, writing. Despite the local rumors started by Claire the mule, he denies being in the Witness Protection Program.
©2021 V Williams
8 thoughts on “The Wise Ass by Tom McCaffrey – a #BookReview – #TuesdayBookBlog”
A captivating read. The Wise Ass is a great escape from daily life. The author’s attention to detail when describing various settings/locations and characters is impressive. Through the imaginative and creative view of the author, a band of neighbors, friends and a talking mule, all with special gifts and talents, band together to challenge an evil force. The book is definitely a crime thriller but so much more. On finishing the book, I wondered where will the author will take us from here. Hopefully to a second book.
LikeLiked by 1 person
yes, thank you for that thoughtful comment–and so true. it was all so unique but looks to me like the author could go in a number of directions from there. i thoroughly expect the second book, and surely there will be one, to be every bit as riveting and this.
I enjoyed this book immensely! Well written and fun to read. There were some fun times as well as serious.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Yes, it pushed all the buttons.
This is one of those novels I didn’t want to stop reading. A true crime thriller that turns into a creative world of possibilties in which animals talk and seemingly normal neighbors have natural powers of healing. A perfect read to take you away from your daily life and into an exciting world of action and imagination. It is a novel worthy of reading more than once.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Yes! Thank you. You said it better than I. Such a refreshingly fun book.
Wow what a beautiful book I read, Tom McCaffrey written a lovely story, with so much humor and love. The characters were amazing, not to mention the main character Claire the mule. he deserves 5 stars in addition to the 5 stars to the writer.
I have enjoyed the book immensely and can’t wait for the next book.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Yes, exactly! I’d have given more than 5 stars if I could.