Best Foot Forward

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3 Stars

This was an interesting read. A story about a man suffering with depression and how a chance encounter helps him overcome that circumstance. The fight scenes were fun. The plot flowed at a nice pace. It was a nicely laid out story but it felt, easy. Which is fine but not quite as intense as I was expecting.

The aspect of an innocent girl being thrown into a world she probably only vaguely thought existed was nice. I like that she said yes to a lot of things but ultimately she didn’t seem changed by it. Like Pritchard said she needed firm handshakes and stuff but after all she saw beyond this supposed increase in confidence she’s pretty much the same as she went in. Which is odd considering what she’s seen.

Then there was the idea of a code. It felt a bit off because there are countless examples of people going to the family to settle scores. In the dark comedy, Lucky Number Sleven the Boss and the Rabbi kill not only the Dad who couldn’t pay up but his wife and his son in the opening act. And this is a comedic mob movie. Maybe I’m just jaded by so many media outlets on this stuff that something like using family to blackmail things out of otherwise decent people is not a far stretch for me so for it to be an issue in this story was strange.

On its own, it’s not so much of a problem, but not having a code was the crux of the story so it has a lot of importance. Also, I’m totally on board with Pritchard personally having a gripe with the icky situation going down with a teen girl. That was legit. But that disgusting slice of story and attacking family were not the same. I guess I’m saying if that situation instead was the motivation, it would’ve been much more believable cause that thug got what he deserved and someone had to pay for thinking this was a good idea to begin with.

Pritchard overall was nice. His arch was okay. Getting thrown back into the world he was rescued from by his late wife. There was something a bit preachy about his ‘rescue’ though. Almost like we are supposed to hate his old life enough to know why he was happy to escape yet he’s stupid-good at it. And he enjoys it. And it’s that level of fun that makes the story so interesting so the continuous drumming on about him being saved from that life, not wanting to be in that life, being so glad he got out before he became a murderer felt disingenuous. And maybe I was just triggered but when he tried to explain things about being better and dealing with certain issues to the girl he rescued it felt more preachy than life lesson. It’s obvious it wasn’t meant to be that way but something about the timing and the wording of those conversations didn’t sit right so didn’t have the desired effect for me. And, as I said above, the girl seems to be the same at the end beyond a more confident handshake so it’s hard to tell if these few moments affected her at all.

The villain side of the story was questionable. I’ll just chuck that up to lack of knowledge on my part if stuff like this does happen because the way the older brother decided to teach his younger brother a lesson seemed easy and a bit much all at the same time. He’s big-time in town. He could’ve very easily exacted his own justice or washed his hands of it entirely. It felt more like a keep it in-house kind of deal than going to the competition and being like you handle it. I dunno. Definitely felt way too easy.

Overall this was an entertaining read. Not amazing but def short and good enough to warrant me not getting annoyed and giving up on it. Finished it in one sitting. The plot didn’t bog me down or feel too quick and the ending even took its time considering I knew where it was going at around 80percent and it didn’t just jump in there and be done with it. Used the last 20 nicely. It was good reading but it didn’t lift. It felt like it was pushing the good boy angle a little too hard with the references to the life Pritchard used to have with his wife and son. The situation between the good and bad guys resolved a lot cleaner than I expected, it was almost one-sided it was so easy. And, if the good life was so great, why did Pritchard get better Via the bad life if that’s what he doesn’t want? Maybe an obvious hint about him becoming a bodyguard or PI or something that his skill set is good for at the end would’ve made it make sense. As it is I’m here for him getting heavily involved in his old life. It was the only real source of his happiness, rescuing a child and her father.

Good fight scenes, a nice bit of redemption and some villain take down make this an okay story but it didn’t dig too deep into the depression angle and didn’t allow the victim to deal with the world she got thrown into. Another point of view, especially hers, would’ve helped lift this book. All that said, for people who don’t need that much from a story, this one hits home. Short, fun and action-packed it checks all the boxes and is worth the few hours it takes to read it. But for me, it was just okay.

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