Review: Linchpin by Jodi Payne

LinchpinRating: 3.5 stars
Buy Link:
Amazon | iBooks | Amazon UK
Length: Novella


Note: The blurb for Linchpin does not mention or identify the second main character in the book. The blurb mentions a discovery that the first main character makes and that discovery, as well as the identity of the second main character, are revealed early in the book. In order to discuss the book, the review will reveal only the mildest spoilers of mentioning the second main character. Please be advised if you wish to read this book without having any of the details revealed.

Randall Quinn just made his first extravagant purchase. His brand new sports car, while flashy, is everything he wanted. Quinn has been a cleaner for the mob for the past ten years and he knows he can’t do the job forever. The last job was overwhelmingly messy and at the age of thirty-nine, Quinn is starting to contemplate his options.

When Quinn pulls up at a run down motel for his latest job, he’s expecting a routine clean up from a simple execution. Except, for the first time, Quinn gets quite the surprise when indeed there is a body in the motel room, but this guy is certainly not dead. When the Boss tells him to take the guy with him, Quinn’s life is about to change in all of the ways.

Linchpin is a quick read that held my attention throughout the book. Quinn doesn’t think much about his job or the bodies that he’s disposing of. He’s mostly interested in the money he’s putting away as he knows that working for the mob won’t be forever. He’s good at what he does and he can clean the messiest of jobs up without leaving one single trace. He doesn’t deal with the living and being saddled with a bruised and resistant Tony is not in his plans. The Boss orders Quinn to take Tony back to his own house and, while Quinn might not think something is amiss, as readers the possible scenarios certainly start playing out.

The draw here is having these two guys in close and forced proximity and then seeing the story play out to its conclusion. The guys have an attraction, but it’s not played as the captive falling for the captor. While Tony maintains his innocence, he certainly doesn’t play the victim and despite any better judgment on both of their parts, the guys give into their attraction rather easily.

Quinn is supposed to be the seasoned expert here, yet in a day he’s suddenly willing to make one misstep after the other for a guy he’s just met. But Quinn works for the mob so you know it’s not all going to easily work out and I was then waiting for it. It being the catalyst that would ramp up the action. There is almost no character development here, as we learn nothing about either man, there is no time for a relationship to be built, the plot hinges solely on the actions that take place it just a few days time, and the ending was rather abrupt.

I did need more from the characters, the relationship, and the overall plot with this one. While the book certainly held my attention all of the way through, it ultimately won’t be overly memorable. But for a shorter read with mob elements and a story that’s not exactly straight forward, Linchpin could be one to try.

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