Stay is not your typical shoot-em-up story from Victor Gischler. Noted for crime dramas with brash characters in dark noir settings, this latest adventure has more of a domestic appeal along with the expected blood, guts, and bullets.
Stay is about a stay-at-home dad. David Sparrow is a government operative with too many missions in his past. His superiors place him on temporary leave for fear he may be burning himself out. When his wife Amy is promoted to Deputy District Attorney, he welcomes the quiet lifestyle of taking care of their two children.
But when notorious crime lord and super thug Dante Payne uses every violent trick in the bag to keep from going to prison, including targeting Amy and her family, he is not expecting an out of work dad to fight back. David’s training and knowledge is suddenly put into action as he will stop at nothing to protect his family.
Though some may think Stay is not quite up to par with other works from Gischler, it holds its own as far as action and excitement goes. But where the real divergence comes is in the character development. It’s not so much the sordid background of David as it is his astute self-awareness of what it takes to take care of his family while his wife provides the financial support. He is just another one of the moms in carpool as he drops off his kids at school every day. He schedules his house cleaning duties with the efficiency of a well-conceived military operation. He can coldly take down a foreign terrorist cell with a few bullets. But when people like his neighbor look at him with disdain just because he is not the family provider, readers are exposed to David’s true vulnerability.
Gischler has a long list of successful books on the market and like Gun Monkeys, The Pistol Poets, Suicide Squeeze, Shotgun Opera, Go-Go Girls of the Apocalypse, Vampire a Go-Go, The Deputy, Ink Mage, Gestapo Mars and The Tattooed Duchess, undoubtedly many more to come. Oh, and he pens some pretty grizzly comics too.
Stay comes from Thomas Dunne Books (St. Martin’s Press). It is a little different from what we’ve grown to expect from Victor Gischler, but it will give stay-at-home dads some long overdue Walter Mitty-esque connectivity along with its fatherly credibility. The book is a macho endorsement stating that all may not be as it seems, a strong warning to those who look down on the jobless father figure. And maybe, just maybe that guy juggling a couple kids with a diaper bag on his back just might be able to put a bullet between your eyes. Besides, it’s a fun read.