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May 26, 2013


 by Dmitri Ragano

OVERVIEW(from Goodreads)
 At once a crime thriller, black comedy and family drama wrapped into one poignant and satirical novel.

Deep in the heart of California’s dysfunctional, strip-mall suburbs, the city of Santa Ramona, California is besieged by a pair of unlikely bandits.

Johnny Valentine is a lonely boy who dreams of becoming a hero, just like the masked avengers from the pages of his comic books.

His feisty grandmother Stella is a retired supermarket clerk and cancer survivor with a fierce sense of justice. Running out of time, money and options, the old lady is driven by the need to make one last great contribution.

Together the boy and his grandma devise a Robin-Hood style scheme to rob a ruthless retail conglomerate, stealing cash and medicine for the sick and needy.

As their crime spree continues, the citizens of Santa Ramona wonder how to judge the crazy young boy and his fugitive grandma.

Are Johnny and Stella Valentine a menace to society? Or are they the only ones trying to save it?
This was a crime thriller, black comedy and family drama all in one.  Deep in California's dysfunctional  suburbs, the city of Santa Ramona, California is being rampaged by two very unlikely thieves.

Johnny Valentine dreams of being a hero just like the comic books he reads.  He is extremely lonely.Stella, Johnny's grandma is a feisty retired market clerk.  She survived cancer with a vengeance.  is \running out of time, and money so the grandma is determined to make one last contribution. Johnny and his grandma cook up a Robin Hood scheme to rob and steal cash  and medicine for the poor.
Most of Johnny Valentine's time is spent with his grandma, Stella.  His father gets into running bingo gambling with some thug and then he gets into embezzling. Johnny's mother is now into robbery and chases by the police.
This  is a fast paced book. It moves right along. As you read through the book, you know that this could happen right where you live and sometimes it does.  If you like crime books and detective stories, you will love this book.  
There is one thing that I didn't quite get from the book was the Black comedy.  I guess I missed that.  Overall the book was good, . Everyone needs to read and make up your own mind on the book. I loved the title, THE FUGITIVE GRANDMA.

I would give this book 3.5 Stars.
I was given a complimentary copy of this book from the author for this unbiased review.

About the Author

Dmitri Ragano lives in Irvine, California with his wife and daughter. He grew up in Pittsburgh and also previously lived in San Francisco and Japan. Through his work as a journalist, translator and technology consultant, he has traveled to more than 30 countries. His first published novel, Employee of the Year, is a mystery set in the call center of a Los Angeles-based credit card company. The second book in the series, The Voting Machine, is a thriller set in Las Vegas during a voter registration drive for a critical swing-state election. His latest novel, The Fugitive Grandma, is the story of a boy and his grandmother who rob a string of big box retail stores for cash and medicine.


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