Tunnel Vision is the second book to feature Nickel, Aric Davis’s teenage sleuth and anti-hero (available October 1, 2014).
Nickel – no last name – was twelve in his last book-length case and while I’ve known twelve-year-old thieves and drug dealers, I can imagine why a few people found the character’s age a tad hard to swallow. In the follow-up, Nickel’s a few years older. He never gets specific about his age, but he’s old enough (and young enough) to be attracted to a sixteen-year-old Betty Martinez without it being weird.
Told in somewhat alternating points of view that eventually intersect, the reader first meets Nickel on a very bad day. He’s hurt and angry and plotting some violent revenge as soon as he can get back to town and maybe get himself better put back together. What comes across best is that Nickel is a hard kid having some bad thoughts, and if he’s the good guy, things are going to get ugly. Fast.
Making your living as a criminal comes with its own list of unique risks, but I never thought one of them would be coming down on the wrong side of a setup. Call it naivete or whatever else you want, but I was sure I had myself in a good place, and the only way I was going to get burned was by someone I trusted. I knew that was possible – there were no illusions for me – but when it happened even my black little soul was caught off guard.
“Sorry,” Gary said to me, like that mattered when I was staring down the barrel of a shotgun and getting cuffed and being sent in off the books to a crooked juvenile internment camp.
Gary was my dealer, the loser I’d transformed with money and bags of high-grade marijuana into a kid with confidence. Gary would never betray me – I was sure of it – but I was wrong. The money got bigger and bigger, and that was that. Gary sold me out for a truck full of dope and a connection to move as much as he could harvest in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
I hope for his sake, he enjoyed the money, because his luck is about to change.