Hard Case Crime review: Fake I.D. by Jason Starr (HCC-056)

56 - Fake ID by Jason Starr


A New York bar bouncer with dreams of being more, Tommy Russo jumps at the chance to join a horse-owning syndicate. But to do so he’ll have to pony up $10,000 – and that’s money he hasn’t got. So what’s an ambitious young man to do? Anything he has to…

Things just aren’t working out for Tommy Russo’s acting career, and he isn’t getting any younger. He sees the chance to own a piece of a racehorse as his ticket out of his tiny apartment and his dead-end life. But Tommy’s got some problems: He’s an addicted gambler, a problem arising from his incredibly impulsive nature; he’s quick to anger; he’s not that bright.

Despite these character flaws, when Fake I.D. opens, you feel sorry for Tommy and want him to succeed. As the book progresses, you’ll realize that you’ve bet on the wrong horse.

Tommy is a simpleton. His traits are so ingrained that, after becoming familiar with him, you know what decision he’s going to make in most situations. Fake I.D. works because Jason Starr never fails to assure that the world around Tommy gives him every opportunity to make the worst possible choice, opportunities he invariably takes. It’s a good little trip to hell.

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