Thursday, 5 December 2019

Book review : Galveston - Nic Pizzolatto

Jack of all trades, master of none, as the old saying goes. When I saw on the front of my latest read that the author was the creator of the smash hit HBO series True Detective, I was dubious that he'd be able to put together a good novel, but Galveston is actually very well written. Don't just take my word for it though - it was the winner of two Best First Novel awards and a finalist in two more.

The novel introduces us to Roy Cady, who freely admits that he is "a bad man". At the start of the book, he discovers that his lungs are riddled with cancer and that his days are numbered. This means that he is very gung-ho in his attitude to life.

Sent on a job by his boss - a disgruntled boss whose girlfriend he had had a fling with - Roy knows that he is walking into a dangerous situation, particularly when he is told to go in with no guns. Sure enough, all hell breaks loose but, despite losing his partner in the shootout, Roy manages to take out all the bad guys and walk out of there alive. In one of the back rooms, he meets a beaten-up but feisty girl, Rocky, and decides to help her escape too.

So begins a road-trip that reminded me somewhat of Thelma and Louise, with the couple driving along with no final destination in mind, keeping their eyes and ears open in case the police, Roy's boss and/or the bad guys come looking for them. To make things even more complicated, they pick up a little girl on the way - Rocky's kid sister or maybe her daughter ? - and end up playing happy families in a series of beaten up motel rooms.

Life isn't easy and the future looks pretty grim, but they manage to find some moments of happiness and surround themselves with a few old ladies who will help with childcare when needed. Can they really escape their future destiny though or will things end up catching up with them somehow ?

It's a gritty, grim and altogether pretty hopeless kind of novel, but you can't help but feel sorry for the down-on-their-luck couple. There is a sparkle of hope at the end but barely enough to make the slightest difference in the bleakness of life in Galveston.

star rating : 4/5

RRP : £8.99

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Sphere (27 Mar. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0751557056
  • ISBN-13: 978-0751557053
  • Product Dimensions: 20 x 1.8 x 12.9 cm


  1. I'm feeling so gloomy recently, that perhaps it's not a book for me. I need something slightly more cheerful. I haven't heard of the author, to be honest.

    1. I hadn't either ! Awww, sending hugs and Christmas sparkle your way xxx

  2. Oh, Cheryl. I wasn't going to put any more books on my to-read list but now I have to add this one! The title caught my eye because I am a big Glen Campbell fan but, after reading your review, it sounds too good to miss.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...