by G.J. Prager
reviewed by Peter M. Fitzpatrick
"I was getting to appreciate the way they did business around here. It seemed there was an endless harem of broads doing their dirty work."
Bob Klayman is a “private investigator” on parole for both operating without a license and shooting a suspect with an unregistered gun. Desperate for work, an offer to work for a mobster operating out of Malibu for big money seems enticing...
Losers Gallery is more than listening to a novel; it embarks on a crime-filled adventure with protagonist Robert Klayman. His resume sported a litany of both legal and illegal jobs, which created a character of great depth and intrigue. Klayman was a former Los Angeles private investigator; shortly after a prison sentence for gunplay on his last PI job Klayman found himself drowning in poverty and living a life with little purpose.
After a bit of cajoling from a few less than savory characters, Klayman was traveling across the world to Eastern Europe to pursue a rare Rembrandt painting. Snowed covered and smile-free, Ukraine Klayman was the target of many ladies seeking his attention for less than honest reasons and several angry gangsters in tow. After many harrowing experiences in Eastern Europe's cold and foreboding world, Klayman found himself in South American with another host of issues that few could imagine.
Throughout Losers Gallery, Klayman's hard exterior falls away, and his softer side is divulged with brief mentions of his ruminations on life, love, and where he wanted to be. The women he pursued and the women who pursued him. Klayman may have been a cold-hearted PI, but his human side is present as well. Arguably, these aspects of this novel humanized his character and gave the reader another lens to view the anomalous character known as Robert Klayman.
Brian Callanan's expertise and vocal talents combined created a seemingly believable performance that will entertain the listener with impeccable vocal variations that give each character a voice of their own. Callanan's voice is the perfect blend of smoky with a hint of Whiskey—husky with a touch of charm. His voice made this listening experience more than an audiobook—Losers Gallery was comparable to the theater.
Author G.J. Prager has done a brilliant job of writing a P.I. story fused with an array of experiences crime, humor reality, pain, sadness, that together construct the rawness of the human spirit.
Losers Gallery is the excellent second novel in the Crime Thriller series by G.J. Prager, but his first to be released in audiobook format.
In Losers Gallery we follow ex-LA Private Investigator Robert Klayman, who, being down on his luck, accepts a dubious job opportunity from a very shady character. Our Robert has to travel halfway around the world to pick up a renowned work of art and to deliver it to a special client. However, as we already knew, things are never that easy! Almost broke, shunned by the authorities and hunted down by dangerous mobsters, Mr. Klayman has to fend for himself.
I enjoyed the story, the writing style, the fast-paced action and I think that Robert Klayman is an interesting character. Although it's the second book in this series, Losers Gallery can be experienced as a standalone listen.
Emmy-winning TV host and producer, turned audiobook narrator and voice-over artist Brian Callanan delivers a strong performance with Losers Gallery. He perfectly captures the character's look and feel, creating an immersive narrative experience for the listener, with different voices and accents for all the more important protagonists.
Mr. Callanan excels at bringing to the surface all the inner musings and hidden thoughts of our hero and I appreciated that level of attention quite a lot.
Losers Gallery is a strong second novel in a series that could be enjoyed by fans of flawed but funny detectives everywhere. I hope to see more of these novels released in audiobook format.
Losers Gallery is a new funny and very entertaining take on the modern Private Investigator story and if you like those, give this a chance, you won't regret it!