BOOK REVIEW: HEAD GAMES
Head Games is the page turning novel featuring crime writer, Hector Lassiter and his acquisition and disposal of Pancho Villa’s head and the ensuing chase once he obtains the head. Somehow I seem to have missed or forgotten with age, any history lesson on Pancho Villa’s army being the first attack on the United States of the 20th century or perhaps my history book did not make it as exciting a story as Craig McDonald has done with Head Games.
Hector Lassiter is a character one will not soon forget. Craig McDonald brings him to life in such a way that you feel you truly know the man and his feelings. This story begins in 1957 in a Mexican cantina, where Lassiter’s old buddy, Bill Wade tries to sell him Villa’s head. Lassiter brings Bud Fiske, a young journalist & poet sent to interview Lassiter for True Magazine, along for the ride. And does Bud get the ride of his life beginning in that Mexican cantina where the bullets begin to fly.
Soon Lassiter and Bud are on the run for their lives from college fraternities, Mexican bandits and U.S. Intelligence services. They stop off in Venice, California where Lassiter meets up with Orson Welles and Marlene Dietrich and meets Alicia, a struggling young Mexican girl who gets caught up in the chase and must go along for her own safety.
Lassiter is a heavy drinker and smoker who frequently uses foul language, attracts many women and has married several. In the beginning of Head Games, he is a widower who also has recently lost his young daughter. He learns from Bud that he is a diabetic as Bud is also and recognizes the symptoms but that doesn’t seem to slow Hector down one bit.
Hector is 57 in 1957 when the book begins and is just realizing that he is getting old. It has a surprising ending in 1970. The book is fictional but also filled with historical facts. One learns about Pancho’s raid on New Mexico, how he is later assassinated and his head is stolen by grave robbers. It makes you wonder about Yale’s mysterious Skull and Bones Society and makes one want to learn more about it and the Bush family’s involvement in it. I look forward to other novels by Craig McDonald as I thoroughly enjoyed Head Games.
REVIEWED BY GINA METZ
Thanks for visiting!