In Lottery Island by Jonathan Lowe, Jude Johnstone has sunk to the level of writing for a cheap tabloid when he gets on the track of the most secretive man the tabloids are after, Howard Rosen. Two years before, the man won the big jackpot in the lottery. Too bad he lost the ticket! But then a year later he repeats his luck, walking away with over $55 million after completely erasing his identity, making his mystique all the more dramatic. Jude tracks Rosen down, and he finds himself hired to locate Rosen’s long-lost son, Billy, who is on the Caribbean island of Palm Island. Once he locates Billy, he is to help Billy overthrow the dictatorship government and buy the island on behalf of Rosen.
To succeed at this venture, Jude calls in his former partner, Grover, and pitches a ploy to Ferlonzo, the governor of the island. He wants to stage a reality show with a celebrity in it, a means of creating a diversion. All of this requires slight of hand and what amounts to a high stakes game of poker with nothing in his hand.
I had a really fun time listening to Lottery Island, which proved to be a creative and exciting book. The plot takes some really interesting points with fascinating twists. The book starts off a little slowly, but it quickly picks up. In addition, the book features a significant sense of humor, whether word play or silly actions. By the second half, I was thoroughly entranced by the story.
I appreciated the characters in Lottery Island, who clearly make the book fun and enjoyable. Jude seems like such a real person with both positive and negative motivations. His partner, Grover, shows both support to Jude and a sense of grievance, as well as a strong desire for money that inspires him to act. The back and forth between Jude and Grover adds great touches of humor to the book as well. The rebels against the dictator Ferlonzo have unique characteristics, making us eager to support them.
I should point out that there are some uses of the N- word and gay slurs. However, these words are used to set up a fight between actual friends in order to create a diversion to distract the enemy. So we know they don’t mean the words used.
Tom Lennon performs the audio edition of this book and does so with good expression and voices. As he portrays the depictions of the actions in the book, he brings the book to life. This book is narrated by Jude, whom Lennon’s voice suits well. He doesn’t do the Caribbean accents as well, however. With a slight grittiness to it, he exudes private detective and adds flavor to the book itself. In addition, Lennon uses effective expressions without over- emoting. My one complaint about the audio recording is that it uses special effects to create the sound of a telephone or radio, which got annoying and sounds too much like a sound effect and not like a real voice on the phone.
I enjoyed Lottery Island and had an exciting ride with Jude and all the other members of the effort to free the island. The story was exciting and clever. Further, the characters had so much flavor to them that they added to the pleasure of listening to this book. I give it five stars!
To purchase this book for yourself, click here on Amazon.