Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Book Review - Skid by Rene Gutteridge

When I pick books, I tend toward the action, suspense, sci-fi, or fantasy genres. Typical guy stuff, I suppose. However, I can be swayed by a clever, inviting back-copy, and that's what happened when I first heard about Rene Gutteridge. While looking at book options for the CFBA tour, I read the synopsis for Scoop, the first book in her Occupational Hazards series. It was funny and quite intriguing, so I asked for the book. Scoop turned into my favorite book of 2006.

Rene is back with the latest book in the series: Skid. As with the first and second book, (Snitch), she nails the landing with this new tale.

The Occupational Hazards series focuses on the Hazards, a family of homeschooled kids who are strong in their faith. Their parents also owned a clown company that the whole family helped staff - until the parents' untimely hot tub accident. After the funeral the kids sell the business and it funds their attempts to go into the world and find an occupation.

Hank Hazard, who we saw introduced in Snitch, fell in love with flying and applies for a special job at struggling airline Atlantica: being a spy on their planes evaluating customer service by haranguing the flight attendants with incessant requests. Hank is such a nice guy though, he can't help but be the most polite yet irritating customer.

Gutteridge here applies her trademark twists and laugh-out-loud turns as Hank's flight includes a mysterious pilot who has survived the Bermuda triangle, a pig, a Dutch convict, a diamond smuggler, and a jilted young woman in polka dots. The plot moves along with continuous hijinks that kept me chuckling throughout the book. Just as one situation seems to be boiling over, another pot bubbles up as well. Gutteridge is able to make all of her humorous characters believable, and keeps the reader hooked for the whole crazy flight.

Publisher's Weekly said that, "No Christian fiction novelist can tickle a funny bone like Gutteridge", and I agree. Skid continues her impressive and greatly enjoyable run through various Occupational Hazards. I highly recommend this whole series for anyone who likes very readable books with a planeload of humor. You won't be disappointed.

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