A first-rate story about two actors, Danny and Jill who turn to befriending, then stealing credit card numbers from unsuspecting tourists in Mexico. However, Jill gets them involved in the biggest “act” of their criminal lives in Veracruz, with Danny eventually ending up in prison in BC. Jill’s whereabouts are unknown.
Danny reflects from his incarceration at King’s Reach Detention Centre in B.C.:
“How much of what she’d [Jill] said and done was genuine? I couldn’t believe she’d betrayed me, yet here I was at King’s Reach, still willfully oblivious to the gullibility that put me here. Now all I could think about was how awful we’d been to people down south.”
Throw into the mix Danny’s once-successful TV acting career, a father who had gambled, lied and cheated his way through life, Mexican police chasing Danny and Jill across Mexico, and a bare-bones prison performance of Shakespeare’s The Tempest (directed by and starring Danny) and you have all the action, suspense and emotional baggage needed for a good-to-the-very-end story.
Resort is an entertaining, yet curiously unsettling novel, as many innocent victims are taken advantage of in the pair’s schemes. While they were once riding high on their illegal ways, they are now almost penniless in Mexico and are seeking their one big break so they can leave the life they lead and realize their dream of their own theatre company in Mexico. In order to do this, Jill has them hook up with Nick Vandal, a washed-up one-hit punk rocker from the eighties, whose character, for some reason made me think of Gene Simmons (from Kiss, and who was not a punk rocker). With that visual in mind, the sheer obnoxiousness of Nick Vandal now had a face and his scowlings, drunkenness and drug abuse were even more disquieting.
The characters of Danny and Jill are quite likeable however, and as they are reduced to riding crammed Mexican buses and staying in cheap motels, you actually feel bad for them, although they alone are responsible for their current state of affairs. You actually want them to escape this life. Jill’s plan is to make a big score off Nick and his crazy wife Brenda while they stay as guests at the Vandal’s Casa Soho in Veracruz. Danny reluctantly follows Jill’s plan, although she is reluctant to tell him all the details of it. This frustrates Danny and causes a lot of tension between the two. To add to this is Danny’s feeling that Jill knows Nick from a time when her and Danny were not together.
If you like novels that have an adventure, risky capers, with a touch of humour and a strong dose of reality, then you will definitely enjoy Andrew Daley’s Resort. I rated it four stars at Goodreads.
Praise for Andrew Daley’s Resort:
“Resort is a taut twisty story that starts out being about a life of crime but encompasses so much more: love, literature, and the limits of trust are all seen from new angles. I was enthralled from start to finish.” —Rebecca Rosenblum, author of So Much Love
For his first novel Tell Your Sister:
“I would read more by this author. Way to go for a first novel.”—goodreads.com
Resort by Andrew Daley
James M. Fisher is the owner and editor-in-chief of The Miramichi Reader. He began TMR in 2015, realizing that there was a genuine need for more book reviews of Canadian literature. It has since become Canada’s best-regarded source for the finest in new literary releases. James has been interviewed about TMR on CBC Radio and other media sites. James works as a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Technologist and lives in Miramichi, New Brunswick with his wife Diane and their tabby cat Eddie.