A Book Spy Review: ‘The Price You Pay’ by Aidan Truhen

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After Didi, the woman living below him, is executed, Jack Price realizes the professional assassination was meant as a message to him. But that’s just the beginning. . . 

After whacking Didi, someone sends a team of enforcers to throw Jack a beating at his apartment, which they do. Still, Jack, a high-end cocaine drug dealer, holds his ground, determined to defend his turf no matter what. However, what he doesn’t know, but will soon find out, is that after pissing off the wrong person, there’s now a bounty on his head — and the feared Seven Demons are after him.

Essentially, the Seven Demons are a group of assassins, made up of a John Wick-like underground of killers, who have all kinds of connections and a variety of skill sets. One killer is a sex doctor who, uh, well, you get the picture. Her road to Jack is much different than the other assassins hunting him down, a list that also includes a heavy-handed brawler and an expert sniper, among others. Basically, the only person Jack doesn’t want to kill is his lawyer, for multiple reasons — some of which involves more than her law degree — while everyone else, including dirty cops, are fair game. 

Readers will either love or hate this book — there is no road down the middle here. Truhen, a pseudonym for an unknown previously published author, tells the entire story from Jack’s perspective. That’s great because the story unfolds for readers the way Jack sees the world, but the main issue is that not everyone will like Mr. Price or his snarky, overly sarcastic tone and out-of-the-box descriptions. There’s also the fact that Jack Price is most definitely an antihero, with little more to like about him than the fact that for a drug dealer, he runs his business according to his own moral code, which prohibits selling drugs to kids. 

Personally, I find Jack’s personality refreshing and different, but that won’t be the case for everyone. Some readers will be put off by his oddball descriptions and the fact that he really doesn’t have any redeeming qualities. Still, it’s hard not to laugh at a murderous drug dealer dropping pop culture references, which Truhen mixes in throughout. One scene shows Jack clipping a dirty cop, another has him talking about Finding Nemo and how that’s a disturbing story. Those moments are funny to be sure, but the meat of the plot is Jack mixing it up with a bunch of killers as he runs through a team of assassins, expertly taking them out one by one. 

Not for everyone, but those who do like this particular dark brew of sarcastic, witty crime noir will drink in Aidan Truhen’s The Price You Pay and be thirsty for more. 

Book Details

Author: Aidan Truhen
Pages: 288 (Hardcover)
ISBN: 1524733377
Publisher: Knopf
Release Date: July 10, 2018
Book Spy Rating: 6.0/10

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Praised as “one of today’s finest book reviewers” by New York Times bestselling author Gayle Lynds, Ryan Steck (“The Godfather of the thriller genre” — Ben Coes) has “quickly established himself as the authority on mysteries and thrillers” (Author A.J. Tata). He currently lives in Southwest Michigan with his wife and their six children.

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