The Perk is the third book from the Gimenez stable.
The Perk Review
I honestly thought it would be another thriller like The Governor’s Wife by same author, which was actually the first book I read from his stock of books.
That assumption was also made after I read a review of The Perk, saying that the book is fast paced. Nothing could be farther from the truth.
This novel sounds like a moral sciences and social sciences lesson. It is a full-on detailed guide of why people leave their small towns in Texas and make a beeline to Austin for money.
And also the reverse effect the small towns have, like the tourists flocking them in crowds. Then Gimenez shows that it is same everywhere, politics and money are social evils, even in small towns (or especially in small towns according to this book).
This book highlights the plight of illegal Mexicans working in inhumane conditions and the town people’s mentality. Though they themselves came from Germany to settle in America they grudge the space they rent out to the Mexicans, even while enjoying their low cost labor.
The Perk’s main plot is a murder case gone cold. The protagonist is a big shot city lawyer returning to a small Texas town after his wife’s premature death by cancer.
How he, Beck Hardin, manages to raise his children properly and how he ends up being a good judge of the town form the major part.
Beck Hardin experiences death of a loved one at a very early age. After his mother’s death, he escapes his small town after he wins a football scholarship and never returns to it till his wife dies. It is 24 years later that he steps back into his old town.
Solving the murder of a girl, who was Beck’s best friend’s daughter, takes up some of his time, but at the end it is too late to convict the murderer as the time limit on the case expires.
The author throws in some knowledge about how drugs effect children, their sports careers and life. Sometimes I feel that I live in Texas, that’s the way the author brilliantly paints his place in his writings.
Why I really was not hooked to this book was its pace, and also its moral science lessons. But sometimes, this might be all we need to pass a boring day.
So, grab the book and enjoy learning about small town culture in Texas!