The Chupacabra by Stephen Randel ****
The Chupacabra: A Borderline Crazy Tale of Coyotes, Cash & Cartels
By Stephen Randel
Publisher: Knuckleball Press
August 19, 2012
Genre: Dark Comedy
He is called El Barquero. He makes his trade along the border, smuggling guns and killing without remorse. As he faces his one last mission, his perfect plan is unwittingly foiled by Avery, a paranoid loner obsessed with global conspiracy theories who spends most of his time crafting absurd and threatening letters to anyone who offends him. That means pretty much everyone.
What unfolds is a laugh out loud dark comedy of madcap adventure stretching from Austin to the West Texas border featuring a lunatic band of civilian border militia, a group of bingo-crazed elderly ladies (one packing a pistol nearly as long as her arm), a murderous and double-crossing cartel boss, a burned-out hippy, and a crotchety retired doctor and his pugnacious French bulldog. Read it to believe it.
Stephen Randel, CFA, was born in Houston, Texas. He is a graduate of Texas Christian University. Steve now lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with his wife and their two rescue dogs.
My Review: (****)
I was interested in this book because of the descriptions of the characters, especially the gun-toting grandma, and the book did not disappoint.
Avery, your garden variety nut case, manages to stumble on an extremely scary drug runner in his search for a chupacabra. He believes they are trying to take over North America and is out to prove his theory, when he is not busy sending threatening letters to anyone that crosses his path.
The story takes place in Texas, and the author definitely has a good understanding of people from Texas. I found myself laughing at the antics of the characters throughout the book, and I loved how their lives were able to cross in such interesting ways.
The dysfunctional militia group provides some great antics, as does Aunt Polly and her group of friends. Pearl, the gun-toting grandma, is definitely one scary woman. Avery is your typical nut-case who believes whole-heartedly in his own importance. His run-in with El Baquero probably does not help his delusions of grandeur.
While it is hard to explain everything about this book, it is definitely worth reading, particularly if you want a good laugh.