by Marcus Sakey
A financial trader, a travel agent, a hotel doorman, and a bartender walk into a bar to steal some money... Sounds like a joke, right? In Marcus Sakey's “The Amatuers,” there are no laughs when a 'game' turns serious.
Alex – Bartender at a restaurant. Has an ex and a daughter. Barely making ends meet. He and Jenn have a sexual relationship.
Ian – Financial trader, snorts cocaine, gambles.
Mitch – Doorman for a hotel. Has a crush on Jenn. Feels ignored by the public and, somewhat by his friends.
Jenn – Travel agent, has more male friends than women, trying to find what's missing in her life.
Four people, each with their own quirks and personal problems, somehow have become friends, meeting a couple times per week for drinks or brunch. During their time together, they play a variety of 'games,' such as “What if you suddenly came into a half million dollars, what would you do?”
When they learn that Alex's boss, a former drug dealer and still a shady businessman, has a load of cash stored in the restaurant's safe, they slowly come around to the idea of stealing it. They soon find their lives thrown into a chaos they never expected.
Alex – Bartender with an ex and a daughter. Barely making ends meet. He and Jenn have a sexual relationship
Ian – Financial trader, snorts cocaine, gambles
Mitch – Doorman for a hotel, has a crush on Jenn. Feels ignored by the public and, somewhat by his friends
Jenn – Travel agent, has more male friends than women
John 'Johnny Love' Loverin – Owner of several businesses. Alex's boss. Made his money selling drugs back in the eighties. Suave, wears expensive clothing. Still into some shady deals.
The characters are defined with a nice mix of personalities. Sakey does a fine job of providing a balance on allowing the reader insight into everyone's lives without over emphasizing one or ignoring another.
Fairly consistent with each character. You can tell the difference in speech patterns. Conversation, however, is basic, limited to what is going on and what needs to be done.
The story is character based. The action is swift, and efficient without much graphic detail. I could have done with about half the profanity because being character driven and not action or plot driven, most of the foul language wasn't necessary to complete the story.
Still, the reader understood each character, from the friends to the bad guys. The story flows well, without bogging down on the internal thoughts or too much back story.