Book two of the Woodshed Wallace series Hook and Shoot isn’t due out until November, but we were able to secure an advanced copy of it. Hook and Shoot takes place right after the conclusion of Suckerpunch, and the story is non-stop from till the end.
One thing needs to be made clear, and Hook and Shoot does this better than it’s predecessor. This is an action-thriller story set within the business of mixed martial arts. While it may seem to be an MMA book front and center, it isn’t. MMA is how the book unfolds. This isn’t to take away from the book at all, but it is a smart direction. Think Fast Five in the movie franchise how it wasn’t about “racing” cars but was an action movie first with fast cars second.
Onto the review. As said, it starts off just after Suckerpunch ends. Wallace is waiting for his contract to continue fighting for Warrior, Inc. Calls to the owner are going unanswered and Wallace starts to wonder if everything he just accomplished was for naught.
Then Eddie (the owner of Warrior, Inc) comes to the gym in a limo and has a talk with Wallace. Eddie’s in a mess of trouble from what happened in Wallace’s last fight and as such says that Wallace needs to protect him in order to get the contract to fight for him. This time it isn’t the local gangs that are after him, it’s the Japanese Mafia the Yakuza.
The thrill of the chase and the fear of being hunted is on over the course of a two week period. While not as immediate of a timeframe as Suckerpunch, Brown does a fantastic job at keeping the pacing much the same.
The biggest complaint I had in the previous book was the lack of character development for the major characters and this time we got to delve a bit deeper into some of them. Still there were characters that felt a bit rushed or could have used a bit more depth to them, especially Burch.
With that said, this story surprised me on more than one occasion. The plot twists I was expecting, weren’t there, and others caught me off guard.
Hook and Shoot takes all the good things from Suckerpunch and expands on it. Woodshed Wallace may not be your everyday hero, but he gets the job done. Wallace is now an established character and the stories to follow are likely to be as thrilling as this one.