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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Debut crime novel from American screenwriter/playright and one time bookstore owner Johnny Shaw. Set in the desert lands of the Imperial Valley on the Southern Californian and Mexico borders the book is subtitled "A Jimmy Veeder Fiasco" as our hero stumbles from one alcohol fuelled disaster to the next.

Personally, I loved this book and hope it is the first of a series featuring the rather mixed up and much too laid back Mr Veeder. The dialogue is cool, snappy, moves at a good pace but I must warn of an excess of swearing throughout and a reasonable amount of violence.

Being a screenwriter by trade I guess Mr Shaw writes with film rights in mind but he does manage to create broad mental visions of his settings with a very 'colourful' use of words. It is the sort of book you read and visualise at the same time, for me these descriptive mental images take a very special type of writer, an artist painting with words - although maybe in this case I should say 'piss' artist.

Having said that there is also plenty of quite raw emotion in the story as Veeder who left his father's farm some 12 years ago to try and find fame and fortune in the big city, without much success, gets a phone call from his Dad who tells him he is in a Nursing Home in the last stages of stomach cancer.

Veeder drops everything, not that there was much to drop and goes back to his hot, dry, desert home town to help his Dad through his last couple of weeks.
His 84 year old Dad then comes up with a strange 'last request', straight out of left field, and asks his son to go into the nearby Mexican border town of Mexicali and track down a tall, good looking, Mexican hooker by the name of Yolanda.

I'm not giving away anymore of the plot than other than to say it is highly original, often humorous, often surprising, very surprising in fact as a couple of twists you never see coming jump off the page at you forcing you to make moral judgements as to the character of our leading man. At times the story can make you take a look at yourself, often in ways you do not particulary want to!

I found it a real page turner, cannot compare Veeder to any other 'hero' or 'anti hero' on the literary crime circuit at the moment, Vachss's 'Burke' or Childs's 'Reacher' he most definitely is not. No short change either, nearly 400 pages of story.

Hope the book sells well because it merits success. However, it is not your average crime novel and maybe not for the average crime novel reader. If your tastes run a little more to dodgy characters, sleazey bars & nightclubs and the darker side of the exotic - then 'Dove Season' is for you.
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VINE VOICEon 3 January 2012
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I quite enjoyed this and would recommend it to readers of what might be called American "alternative" crime fiction.The central protaganist,Jimmy Veeder, is a likable character; a college graduate, but a slacker who has avoided commitment or a conventional career path and has largely spent the years since college working a series of disparate low paid jobs. He returns home to the family farm inImperial Valley,Southern California, when he receives news that his widower father is dying.There he meets up with old friends Bobby Maves, Buck Buck Buckley and Snout and ex-girlfriend Angie,and arranges to bring his father a prostitute over the border from Mexico.This draws him into a number of encounters with Tomas,a childhood friend but now a Mexican criminal,Alejandro and Yolanda.

It's a well written character based mystery in which all the characters have distinct personalities that I think would appeal to readers of such American authors as Peter Leonard (although it is much more leisurely than his work), Jim Harrison,John Rector,George Pelicanos and Thomas McGuane and if that's you,then perhaps you'll find this worth checking out.However,it does read very much like a first novel and although good it's not outstanding, but it is a largely enjoyable first in a series and although it meanders a bit too much it's still entertaining.I think the author needs to tighten up his writing a little, but if he does I would certainly read another in the planned series.
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VINE VOICEon 23 September 2011
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
We should be grateful to Amazon for re-introducing this book first published in 2010 but overlooked by readers. It is a fast moving story set in the desert in southern California just north of the Mexican border. It is a mixture of tragedy and some humour but the narrator or hero of the book comes over as a decent and genuine human being trying to do his best in difficult circumstances. The backdrop of the dessert is well portrayed and you can nearly feel how arrid, hot and unaccommadateing the area is. I hope that Johnny Shaw will write many more novels.
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The book can be seen as a book split into two halves; the first mainly deals with Jimmy's return to his roots due to his Fathers terminal illness, so here we have interplay that deals with family. The so called paternal home of our main protagonist, Jimmy, is a border town in the United States and Mexico. The area is called Imperial County and is in South Western California. The local flora and fauna is mainly arid desert.
The Father Son relationship is based on humour, and this aspect of their feelings seems to permeate through book. We are treated to a number of quite memorable scenes. Big Jake, Jimmy's Father, is dying from cancer and he needs a favour from his son. He asked to find a women called Yolanda, a prostitute who may be somewhere over the border in Mexico. So Jimmy begins his road trip, and along way meets and reacquaints himself with old friends who he has not seen in nearly 20 years, one of which accompanies him to help find Yolanda. This then can be considered the first section of the novel and takes up nearly three quarters of the book.
The second part of the book, deals with the `fall out' or should be said the consequences of trying to accomplish his Father's request. The narrative seems to change and plot themes are more reminiscent of a mystery thriller - that's as close as a classification that can put on this half of the story. The feel of this part seemed less intense, although still well written it did not have the `sparkle' of the first half.
Characters such as Jimmy and his father are great and their scenes together work really well. The `side kick' Bobby and Yolanda the 'Hooker' are done well too. The theme of lost love is a tad anticipated. The author Mr Shaw `lays a sumptuous table' when describing the Imperial Valley area and its blue collar population. The book is thoroughly enjoyable. The humour and discourse are very well done; this can be seen through the interplay between the characters and their enviroment. This is a book, which at times is both touching and entertaining. A book that seems, in part to have more of a feel of a potential movie script, although that should not detract anyone from reading this very fine 'first offering'.
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
The book can be seen as a book split into two halves; the first mainly deals with Jimmy's return to his roots due to his Fathers terminal illness, so here we have interplay that deals with family. The so called paternal home of our main protagonist, Jimmy, is a border town in the United States and Mexico. The area is called Imperial County and is in South Western California. The local flora and fauna is mainly arid desert.
The Father Son relationship is based on humour, and this aspect of their feelings seems to permeate through book. We are treated to a number of quite memorable scenes. Big Jake, Jimmy's Father, is dying from cancer and he needs a favour from his son. He asked to find a women called Yolanda, a prostitute who may be somewhere over the border in Mexico. So Jimmy begins his road trip, and along way meets and reacquaints himself with old friends who he has not seen in nearly 20 years, one of which accompanies him to help find Yolanda. This then can be considered the first section of the novel and takes up nearly three quarters of the book.
The second part of the book, deals with the `fall out' or should be said the consequences of trying to accomplish his Father's request. The narrative seems to change and plot themes are more reminiscent of a mystery thriller - that's as close as a classification that can put on this half of the story. The feel of this part seemed less intense, although still well written it did not have the `sparkle' of the first half.
Characters such as Jimmy and his father are great and their scenes together work really well. The `side kick' Bobby and Yolanda the 'Hooker' are done well too. The theme of lost love is a tad anticipated. The author Mr Shaw `lays a sumptuous table' when describing the Imperial Valley area and its blue collar population. The book is thoroughly enjoyable. The humour and discourse are very well done; this can be seen through the interplay between the characters and their environment. This is a book, which at times is both touching and entertaining. A book that seems, in part to have more of a feel of a potential movie script, although that should not detract anyone from reading this very fine 'first offering'.
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on 14 December 2013
So, this Jimmy Feeder book starts with an educated wanderer returning home because his fathers dying. However, when he meets his father in hospital, he asks Jimmy to find someone for him. I won't spoil it by telling you who, but that's when the story changes.

The book is full of twists and some very funny and well written characters. I would thoroughly recommend this well written book.
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on 26 September 2011
The perfect page turner. A sensational first publication, to which I'm sure the author must feel very proud. I look forward to his next work.
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Dove Season, subtitled `A Jimmy Veeder Fiasco', is published under the Amazon Encore programme, the stated aim of which is to identify books which may have been self published or published by a small publisher, but which are worthy of a much wider audience. This is a worthy addition to the programme and qualified because it won the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Competition in 2010.

The author paints a convincing picture of Imperial Valley which is an area close to the Mexican border, and the twin towns of Calexico and Mexicali either side of the border. One can easily picture this as an arid, depressed area where farmers struggle to make a living from the land and whilst it is the ambition of many to leave, most end up living their lives and dying there. Jimmy Veeder has been away from the valley for twelve years, but comes back when he learns that his father is dying from stomach cancer. He quickly falls in with his old friends and rejoins their hard drinking circle.

Jimmy's father makes a strange request for Jimmy to locate a Mexican prostitute, Yolanda. There follows an absorbing story where Jimmy mainly aided by his close friend, Bobby get into all sorts of, usually very violent, scrapes seeking out Yolanda and then getting involved in the inevitable complications which follow. These include but are not limited to brawling with a Mexican gangster, displeasing a crime boss, having a homicidal hoodlum after him and, as the romantic interest, hooking up with an old girlfriend.

This is writing of high quality and is very impressive for a first published novel. The story is convincing and the descriptive passages of both people and places are such that the reader is right there alongside Jimmy. Since the author was brought up in Imperial Valley he has a real feel for and an obvious sympathy for the area and its inhabitants. The writing is at times quite witty eg `Even filet mignon and caviar isn't going to make a person forget that there's a homicidal Mexican in a canary yellow shirt looking to bleed you'. This is not really a whodunit, though there are elements of that and similarly there are romantic overtones at times which add to the tale. However, overall this is gritty and, at times, tense adventure which most readers will enjoy. Hopefully we will be able to read of more of Jimmy's fiascos in the future!
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on 7 September 2014
A fantastic book that never gets boring. The two main characters are believable and you go on the journey with them. As soon as I had finished this book I downloaded the second book written by this author and I wasn't disappointed. More Mr Shaw please
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on 12 November 2011
I really enjoyed this book because it gave the feel of the area around the US/Mexican border - the hardship and poverty. This didn't slow the story down and it never blamed any country or people for the dog eat dog lifestyle. The characters were real and the men saw violence as a natural way of life. The women were more thoughtful which balanced the equation. Yes there was a lot of bad language but it seemed appropriate but I will be very surprised if it would appeal to a woman reader [that is NOT a sexist comment} If you like a thoughtful adventure and an unusual story then this is for you.
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