Happy hump-day readers! I’m really working on getting at least two reviews + recipes up before the surgery, but it’s less than two weeks away and they’re quite a bit more time consuming. However, I shall press on with regular old reviews for now! Today I’m bringing you a review for Senile Squad: Adventures of the Old Blues by Chris LeGrow. This is a super fun one for me because the author actually reached out to me directly to send me a copy of his book (he even signed it)! So huge thank you to Chris LeGrow for sharing this great read with me!
“Ol’ Blues” are officers that the *youths* on the force might think are outdated, with one foot in the grave and little to contribute. However, they also have extensive knowledge, experience and expertise they’ve been honing for many years that can be invaluable to solving a crime. Enter Ben Mitchell. Ben see’s the value in these Ol’ Blues and with a team of wealthy benefactors, he’s got money to burn and an idea to hatch.
These old cops can do things the current officers can’t. They can conduct surveillance, obtain evidence, and walk right up to gang members, criminals, and not even be noticed.
There’s little more innocuous than a cute little old man ambling about the park. With this idea Ben decides to put these men to good use. By creating a retirement home, fashioned after old school police stations and implementing retired police officers he breathes new life into our cast of characters along with new information to solve an ever growing crime problem in Omaha, Nebraska.
Enter Clubba: a Sudanese gang leader with a penchant for violence and terror. In an effort to keep the community quiet he’s dealing out lessons in silence using force, fear and death. He’s ready to unite gangs and rule the territory like a savage King. The only thing Clubba didn’t take into account? The old geezers that no one was paying attention to in the park – they’re here, they’ve been listening and they’re ready.
All those years as a cop gave him a constant sense of curiosity that never went away. Anytime he found something suspicious, he had to check it out. He hated that in the blink of an eye, he’d gotten old. His body betrayed him at every turn, especially recently. There was, however, one advantage that came with advancing age. It gave him an edge he had never possessed before.
If I had to sum up how I felt reading this book in two words they would be: refreshing and delightful. If you’ve been following my reviews you know I went on a bit of a mystery / thriller binge with quite a few police procedural drama’s thrown in there. While I love the thriller genre as a whole, the police procedural novels are generally a little bit slower and less enticing for me. However, that was absolutely not the case with Senile Squad. When I first read the synopsis of this book I was immediately taken in by the unique vision of the plot. There’s something so effortlessly charming about the idea of retired police officers dolling out vigilante justice and revitalizing their lives to their former glory. Well, LeGrow delivered charm, wit and a solid story line in spades.
I’ve said it before and I’m sure I’ll say it again – I don’t have to like the characters in a book to enjoy it but it always tickles me when I find myself connecting to them and enjoying their company. The team of Ol’ Blues in this read were so much fun to read and it’s been a while since I’ve read something that felt that way. I don’t know if it’s just me but this cast of characters gave me a bit of an A-Team vibe and I absolutely adored the interactions between these characters (particularly Sarge). What can I say – I’m a sucker for a book that makes me want to know the characters instead of just read about them.
…”but I want to point out that these men not only assisted local law enforcement with community relations, but they solved several major crime sprees. A lot of criminals are behind bars – or on their way – because of the efforts of these Ol’ Blues.”
While this was a funny, charming, light and entertaining read what took me by surprise was the subtle depth and meaning that underlies the story once you get to the end. I wont give away any spoilers but this book really has so much going for it. There are times when I was literally laughing out loud and other times that ultimately left me pondering life and the importance of having something in it that makes you feel alive.
In the end, you will have to suspend some reality to get into this one but that’s pretty par for the course in fiction. This was a fun, well paced and wholly original book and I’ve read nothing quite like it… well, ever. Sometimes, at the end of the year I fall into a bit of a slump getting through books and Senile Squad was just what I needed to pull me out of that!
Long Story Short:
Suggested For: Fans of police procedurals, fans of mystery novels or anyone looking for something unique and a fresh take on an old trope!
Music Mood: Young & Free by Dermot Kennedy