Schex, real name Hypolite Schexnaydre, is a southern Louisiana-based, down-on-his-luck attorney who lucks into a boatload of cash…but just like the old saying goes, with more money comes more problems.
Schex is thrilled when G.G. Guidry, a toxic waste entrepreneur, walks through his door in need of a lawyer to represent him. It’s been long enough between clients that he’s maxed out numerous credit cards, so he’s not about to be picky in regards to who he’ll represent–not that Schex is the type of guy to turn down or judge a shady client anyway. Things take a turn, though, when Schex’s potential client asks him to take a suitcase full of cash into his possession for safekeeping. Days later, Guidry is killed, turning Schex’s world upside down in more ways than one.
Not only did Schex lose a client while still holding onto a sizeable amount of money for the guy, but as fate would have it, the main suspect in Guidry’s murder is Schex’s ex-wife, Taylor.
Taylor, a controlling and unlikable character, was in a relationship with Guidry. And while the police like her for the killing, she pleads her innocence to Schex before begging him to help her. Knowing his ex only turned to him because of his legal expertise, Schex is mindful of Taylor’s manipulative tendencies from the moment she re-enters his life.
As the story unfolds, Schex goes about trying to find out if he can legally keep Guidry’s money–which turns out to be more than four million dollars. Meanwhile, he also realizes that his suspicion of Taylor is correct, as she clearly knows far more about Guidry’s murder than she initially let on. Both plotlines keep the story charging full-steam ahead, as Rubin slowly unveils one surprise after another on the way to a nail-biting final act that fans of Joseph Finder and Michael Connelly will appreciate.
While the story is entertaining and Rubin’s writing is sound, none of the characters are very likable. That’s very much by design, though, as Rubin’s cast is made up more of misfit anti-heroes than good guys caught in bad situations. Even Schex turns out to have a number of serious character flaws, which makes him more relatable but a little hard to root for. In the end, readers will be driven by the plot’s main question: What would you do if someone left four million dollars cash in your possession, then died?
The more important question though, as Schex soon finds out, has to do with where that money came from and, most importantly, who else might be looking for it.
Michael Rubin’s Cashed Out is a dark and gritty crime novel that reads quick and is packed with plenty of suspense and enough turns to keep readers entertained from start to finish.
Author: Michael H. Rubin
Pages: 283 (Paperback)
Publisher: Fiery Seas Publishing
Release Date: August 15, 2017
Book Spy Rating: 6.0/10