When the reader last encountered Tom Delaney, at the end of Aquarius Falling, his world had just fallen apart. Two of the three people he’d built a shady life with, on the beaches of Maryland, were dead and the third had taken off with all the money they’d earned selling cocaine to college kids. A few years have gone by, and Capricorn’s Collapse finds Delaney a successful accountant with offices at the Watergate Hotel . . . in 1972, when a certain break-in sent shock waves that eventually shook the president clear out of office.
Tom Delaney is a man around whom history swirls. Nixon’s empire crumbles, the Catholics fight a nasty war against the Protestants for the soul of Ireland, and America’s idealism continues to erode. Protagonist Delaney is all-but-oblivious to those momentous events, preoccupied as he is by the life of crime in which he is nearly an unwitting participant. His sometime companion Misty Vail, prostitute and astrologer, foils Delaney’s perspective nicely: she continually advises him how close his shady dealings in money laundering and drug trafficking are taking him to big, important events, but Delaney is too busy ducking bullets and outwitting death-schemes to pay her any heed.
The average American of the day was likely a lot more like Delaney than Vail. Vietnam had replaced patriotism with cynicism, and the “me generation” was just starting to get its stride. No one had the time, or the interest, in understanding how events on the world stage were shaping up. And no one wanted to listen to those who saw the writing on the wall.
Michael J. Tucker doesn’t write books for those craving a happy ending. Stories about Tom Delaney and Misty Vail are filled with uncertainty, ambiguity, and no shortage of violence. The characters leap off the pages, settle into the reader’s heart, and sometimes are savagely ripped out again by some twist of fate. Like the hard-hearted Delaney himself, the reader becomes nervous of warming up to a character, because the lovable ones don’t always get what they deserve, any more than the crooks do.
Capricorn’s Collapse is a clever tale, one that parallels one of the great collapses of United States politics with the challenges faced by a surprisingly engaging anti-hero. Tom Delaney never seems to be quite in control of his life, whether it’s a success or a disastrous failure. Misty Vail always seems to have the answers that would change all that . . . but just like in real life, those answers aren’t obvious until after the fact. Author Tucker uses the pair to create a Monday-morning quarterback’s perspective on this part of American history, and it’s a blast.Terence P Ward, Allbooks Review. www.allbooksreview.com
Title: Capricorn’s Collapse
Author: Michael J. Tucker