Atkinson keeps his plot moving at a good pace, offering enough twists to keep the reader’s attention, but it is the humor and insight of his characters that make the novel work.” –The New York Times Book Review
“This rewarding first novel is the story of a reluctant hero who may have taken longer than most to grow up but is finally getting there. Reporter Joe Dodge spends his free time playing rugby, boozing with teammates, and pursuing women. “Not giving a shit is my biggest asset,” he jokes (but it isn’t a joke). When a black teammate, Mike Melendez, is charged with raping a white woman, no one much cares. The police and public are content to let him rot in prison. Though Joe hasn’t been friendly with Mike off the playing field, he sets out to help him.
Other plot lines weave around this central core, e.g., Joe’s growth as a reporter and his discovery of a performer who not only looks and sounds like Elvis but believes he is Elvis. All in all, Atkinson has written a jauntily unpretentious, solidly plotted book that displays good insights into character. Joe is a hero you can care about, and he is surrounded by a cast of often zany but always interesting characters. Highly recommended.” –David Keymer, California State Univ