Review: The Price You Pay by Aidan Truhen
By Janet WebbJuly 19, 2018
The Price You Pay by Aidan Truhen is an audacious, lightning-paced thriller, where a smart-mouthed, white-collar drug dealer—a hilariously irreverent antihero—seeks revenge when an unknown enemy takes out a contract on him.
Perhaps Jack Price, the “Uber of illegal drugs,” should have remembered “no good deed goes unpunished” before he inquired into the death of Didi, his unpopular, geriatric neighbor. Jack’s morbid curiosity sets up a Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride of an adventure. Even though Didi “was an old lady and actuarially she didn’t have long but it looks like someone couldn’t wait,” Jack is pissed off—who needs this kind of crap in his New York City neighborhood?
It leaves open questions are upsetting to a certain kind of person and that kind of person is the kind that I am. So coffee while I reflect on this situation that I do not like.
Coffee is too bland a word for Jack’s respect for the macchiatos served up by Mike. Jack has an interesting view of the world. He’s preternaturally observant, and there’s no BS filter to his observations.
He’s pouring my macchiato the way you should so that it comes out in layers: milk, espresso, foam. Pale, dark, white.
Coffee is the judge of a person. Everything you need to know you can know about someone from their coffee, like I am drinking macchiato and why is that? It is the coffee of simple joy like coffee running naked in a field.
Jack lived through 9/11. He lost friends, and it was “a kinduva life-altering day” for him. Circling back to dead Didi, even though she was a “rude old lady” he didn’t like much, she was executed like a drug mule, “shot twice in the chest and once in the head,” and Jack is not okay with that. When Jack’s not okay, ain’t nobody okay because he’s a bulldog in pursuit of the truth.
The Price You Pay serves up a relentless stream of witty, ironic, and perceptive commentary shared straight from Jack Price’s consciousness without a filter. Jack misses nothing, and this is both a blessing and a curse. He can’t back off or back down from conflict, even if turning a blind eye might be wisest (and certainly better for business). And what might his business be? He’s a cocaine trafficker and proud of it, providing “zero-hour gig-economy microjobs.”
You’re not inducting newbies into the shadowy world of international smuggling, you’re just allowing stand-up citizens to turn an existing downside of the personal economy into a revenue stream. Progress is golden and I am Amazon. I am Uber for illegal drugs. I have everyone from executives in Beemers to old codgers with Z frames running cocaine for me. They know really that this is what they are doing but as long as it is never confirmed they do not care because money and maybe frisson.
Frisson, that ephemeral “strong feeling of excitement or fear,” crashes into bone-chilling/breaking reality when Jack is “beaten to a bloody pulp by a squad of enforcers” outside his own elevator. So much for his vaunted security system. Someone has taken out a contract on him, and he’s not ready to die.
But I won’t die. This is personal but it’s also more than that. Because there’s a business issue here too, and business never dies. There’s an issue of criminal territory and reputation.
Money never sleeps, and I’m the Price you pay.
Jack Price is all about reality and revenge. He doesn’t back off; he gets even. He burrows, regroups, threatens, and then comes on like a tsunami when he’s under attack. I wish you would is Jack Price’s modus operandi—bring it on folks, because he’ll make sure his enemies pay the price.