I finished reading this last night. Rene, you have a new fan.
I tried to find just a short snippet to post. I tried for a couple hours AFTER I'd read the book. I kept getting sucked back into the story. The really cool snippets were too long (like the whole novel?) but here's a little one. It's the introduction to the main character, Ron Yeager, on page 10.
Ron Yeager opened his eyes at the sound of his wife's voice.
"Your coffee's ready," Nan said. She was smiling, but Ron knew it wasn't a happy smile. In the thirty years they had been married, Nan was never happy before ten in the morning.
He felt the weight of a coffee mug balanced on his chest. He rubbed his eyes with one hand, the other hand holding onto the mug, then pushed himself to a sitting position. Nan had come up with this morning ritual of putting the mug on his chest ten years into their marriage when she'd finally tired of spending thirty minutes each morning trying to wake him up. If he rolled over to try to go back to sleep, hot coffee would spill all over him. She hadn't done this in years, mostly because these days he kept a regular bedtime schedule.
After setting the mug on the bedside table, he watched Nan open the drapes. Squinting, he groaned and lay back down. "I thought we agreed to stop doing this."
"You know what."
"Serving your coffee to you in bed?"
Ron chuckled. Right, such innocence. After all these years, she was still feisty. "Yes, that."
"We did. But that was before you agreed to back on the streets."
Ron stretched. "I'm not going back on the streets. Your stubbornness is clogging your ears."
"You're two years from retirement. Why in the world would you want to go back on the streets?"
Ron sighed, rolled out of bed, and shuffled to his bathroom sink. "First of all, this isn't a big deal. There's a task force, and they want to talk to me this morning. That's all."
Nan and Ron's relationship is a backbone to the entire book, but she certainly isn't the only feisty person in it. Ron has a lot of feist himself. The task force includes two experienced cops with minds of their own (well, one has a mind and the other borrows his partner's...), one cop looking for the easy way, and one eager but inexperienced cop. The fifth member is Ron's young pastor who is awed by Ron's dangerous job in undercover and begs to catch a glimpse. The glimpse becomes more as the naive star-struck man blunderingly and unwittingly makes first contact with the baddies and is required to stay through to the finish line.
A lot of it is funny, but it's a believable funny because the characters are so well drawn and diverse. One of my favorites is the woman who lives across the street from the undercover house, Ruth. Oh man, I can't tell you any more. Go get the book already. You know you want to.