Monday, March 31, 2014

DUKE CITY SPLIT by Max Austin - Review

pic and description taken from GoodReads


A cool, calm, and collected bank robber—with two kids at home—heads a fascinating cast of characters in Duke City Split, the first in a trilogy of white-knuckle thrillers from Max Austin.
Bud Knox isn’t your average bank robber. He’s happiest fixing a nice lunch for his wife on her lunch break or watching his two young daughters play soccer. He leaves the boldness and brawn to his partner, Mick Wyman. In the past fourteen years, they’ve hit nearly thirty banks all over the West—everywhere but “Duke City,” their hometown of Albuquerque, New Mexico. 

So when Mick calls him about the perfect job, Bud is less than convinced, because the target is on their own turf. But with the potential to haul in millions, Bud simply can’t say no. If they do this job right, Bud may never have to work again.

As it turns out, the heist is the easy part. Holding onto the money while evading everyone from the FBI to the Mafia to the low-life criminals who want a cut will be the hardest thing Bud Knox has ever done—and it might just cost him his life.

My Review / Thoughts:

This book was so good.  I was sucked in right at the very beginning.  When Bud and his buddy Mick decide to add a "third" person to their heist in their hometown, things only go wrong.  Which reminded them why they never hit in the place they lived.

It was interesting to see how things connected.  It was great.  Bud I liked from the very beginning.  Yes, he is a bank robber, but he's a nice bank robber..hehe.  He seems to be a nice guy (aside from being a thief).  It's so hard to like a guy you know is doing the wrong things, but he is a pretty likable guy :).  His friend Mick on the other hand was such a tool.  He made me so mad the whole time.  None of them would be in the mess they were in if Bud had the balls to stand up to Mick.  Their "third" person Johnny was dumber than dumb can be, and only caused problems.  So frustrating to read.  I guess that is part of what kept me reading.  

When the heist is done that is when life gets really exciting for these three men.  More thugs are introduced and its interesting to see how they all connect. There were times when I was like "whaaat".  I love it when a book does that to me.

I don't want to give anything away, but this is a great read.  It's interesting, exciting, and action packed.  When you get involved with robbing banks, and Casinos, the whole world gets interesting.  This book brings real meaning to "don't poop where you eat"..hehe.  sorry for the description..hehehe.  

There are so many great characters in this book.  The author did a great job of making me "feel" what was going on in the book.  I found myself holding my breath at a few points in the book.  I kind of laugh at myself when that happens.  My husband always tells me "it's just a book".  Ya, well when a book can do that to me it makes me happy.  I really enjoyed the writing.

Content:  There is language in this book.  I have a hard time saying that sometimes, because what I think is a lot of language is very different from what other people think.  

Source:  I received this book from  Random House Publishing-Alibi and Netgalley in return for an honest review.   I was not compensated in any way for this review.  These are my own PERSONAL thoughts on the book.

My Rating:

Where to Pre-Order

About the Author:

Steve Brewer
pic and bio taken from GoodReads

Max Austin aka Steve Brewer

STEVE BREWER is the author of more than 20 books, including the recent crime novels A BOX OF PANDORAS, PARTY DOLL, LOST VEGAS and CALABAMA.

His first novel, LONELY STREET, was made into an independent Hollywood comedy starring Robert Patrick, Jay Mohr and Joe Mantegna. 

Under his new pen name Max Austin, Brewer is writing a series of hard-boiled crime stories set in Albuquerque, NM. The first, DUKE CITY SPLIT, will be published by Alibi/Random House in April 2014.

Brewer's short fiction appeared in the anthologies DAMN NEAR DEAD, THE LAST NOEL and CRIMES BY MOONLIGHT, and he's published articles in magazines such as Mystery Scene, Crimespree and Mystery Readers' Journal.

Brewer has taught at the University of New Mexico, the Midwest Writers Workshop and the Tony Hillerman Writers Seminar. He regularly speaks at mystery conventions, and was toastmaster at Left Coast Crime in Santa Fe, NM, in 2011.

He served two years on the national board of Mystery Writers of America, and twice served as an Edgar Awards judge. He's also a member of International Thriller Writers and SouthWest Writers.

A graduate of the University of Arkansas-Little Rock, Brewer worked as a daily journalist for 22 years, then wrote a syndicated weekly column for another decade. The column, called The Home Front, produced the raw material for his humor book TROPHY HUSBAND.

Married and the father of two adult sons, Brewer lives in Albuquerque, NM. 


  1. I love that you liked this and gave it 5 stars even! Great review and thanks for the disclaimer at the bottom, contrary to popular belief, I actually can't stand a lot of bad language (especially the f-word) and it seems it is all over the place these days, even in YA. :(

    1. I don't either. But, I have found that my interpretation of bad language is VERY different than other peoples. Which is fine...p.s I only have it 4 1/2. It totally would have been a 5 was it not for the "f bomb". The difference with this one compared to a few I've read lately, is that it's used but not multiple times on the same page! Does any of this make sense? Hehe

  2. Great review. I have loved all of the Ocean's Eleven movies, so I can see liking a bank robber. :) This sounds like a fun book. You know I don't like language either, so I appreciate the heads-up!

    1. Tressa I thought the SAME thing while reading! Hehe!

  3. This isn't one I would have thought to pick up on my own but it actually sounds pretty good. I kind of like when I hate characters because it gets me more emotionally involved. ;) At least sometimes.

    1. I am the same way. I love when there are characters that you "love to hate"! Makes reading the book so interesting :)

  4. You made this book sound so fantastic, despite the language, of course.