The Second Life of Eddie Coyne – Louis Lowy

Summary:

An Urban Fantasy book about a gambling addict, who has let everything in his life slide to sate the craving for the winning rush. Unfortunately, like most gamblers he ends up on the wrong side of the betting slip. Given a dark turn of events, does this serial selfish loser deserve a second chance?

Main Characters:

Eddie Coyne: The eponymous character, he has gambled and lost. He was a good man, but became consumed, and like all addicts treated everyone as if they were there to serve his ends.

Carly & Ben Coyne: The wife and son of Eddie.

The Jesses: The judges, jury and executioners of Eddie, who give him the chance to win the biggest bet he has, or will ever have, placed.

Charles: Eddie’s spiritual side-kick, constrained by the Jesses in how far he can actually pro-actively help Eddie.

Minor Characters:

Jonah: The muscle/debt collector.

Vernon: Ben’s baseball coach, who takes an active interest in his former flame Carly when Eddie becomes comatose.

Plot:

Eddie wins big at the track, enough to pay off his gambling debts, and have a little left over. Before we get to that point, however, we witness Eddie being a horrible father to Ben, and a surly and ignorant husband to Carly, in a tension-filled home scene.

However, before he can cash in his winnings, he suffers a near-fatal accident and wakes up in a sort of limbo. He is not officially dead, but close enough, and because of this the Jesses (the judges of this place) decide to have some fun. They outline a bet, with the stakes being Eddie’s soul. He wins, he gets his second chance at life. He loses….

Eddie takes the bet, and we then face three stories at different times and places. He must not reveal his true intent, and must successfully achieve certain actions in order to win. However, he soon realises that every contract has small print that should always be read.

What I Liked:

  • Well written, the narrative flowed well.
  • Eddie was a surprisingly sympathetic character, and you see him realising how flawed he is, and how he grows through this.
  • There was an unsuspected thread through each of the three sub-stories that I found meshed well at the end.

What I Didn’t Like:

  • Some minor characters were a little stereotypical, or one-dimensional.
  • I would have preferred more originality with the first story, but the following two made up for it.

Overall:

This is a good read, right up to the last moment when Eddie makes a decision that shows how much he has grown through his experiences. However, until the final reveal, we do not know whether he made the right one.

The story is well-paced, the main characters interesting and engaging, and I would recommend it.

Acknowledgements:

Thanks to the author who sent me a .mobi copy, in return for an honest and objective review.

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