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Rigby's Roads - A Review

This article is a review of a book called Rigby's Roads by Michael Charles Messineo. This book is available through Lightning Source Inc.

Jack Rigby is about to commit suicide. His life has splintered to the point that he has no control of it. He sits in his car just off the main road with a gun raised to his head. Then fate steps in and he is interrupted by a nearby gunfight between police and a biker gang. In a strange turn of events, he now fears for his life. One gang member is shot and struggles to reach Jack's car to get away. Then the cop and the other gang member kill each other. Jack packs the man, known as Wheels, into his car and speeds away to his own home.

Soon Jack is giving medical assistance to Wheels who is now forever in his debt. Wheels finds Jack's suicide note and confronts him.

Wheels then sets about on a plan to bring Jack back to a more satisfying life by presenting him with a list of "50 Things To Do Before I Die."

Jack is more concerned with the events surrounding the killings he witnessed and soon finds a whole new world of adventure and intrigue opening to him as he enters the biker world and attempts to solve a complex case that involves the IRS, FBI, national security, terrorist activities, and outlaw motorcycle gangs.

Wheels introduces him to his protégé, 15-year-old boy genius, Yogi, who has super advanced computer skills and can even create his own secret communications system. These skills are crucial to the telling of this story and Messineo does it well.

It turns out that secret codes have been placed on a microdot inside a bag that is getting passed around from rider to rider. Those codes have intelligence that reveals the whereabouts of 9/11 terrorists who are channeling funds through secret Swiss bank accounts.

Thus begins a grand tale that forces Jack to become a full-fledged biker and go off on a tour to Sturgis, South Dakota where the bag is expected to be delivered at the Sturgis Rally, attracting up to half a million riders. Of course Wheels and his group accompany Jack as they sift through all the various haunts of Sturgis and Deadwood.

Along the way, Jack rises out of his depression and even finds a way to energize his office partner, Bonnie, to re-create her social and professional life as they establish a romantic relationship.

This book is absolutely jam-packed with motorcycle terms since Jack has to take a biker crash course with Yogi as his teacher. You'll ride along with Jack and his new brothers on a fast paced adventure with the President of the United States setting deadlines to recover the bag with the secret codes.

In one scene, Jack enters the Purple Poker Palace where the bag and its owner, Kang, are surrounded by fierce protectors. Kang keeps playing a mind game with Jack about who should get the bag. Finally Kang announces to all that he will play a hand of poker with Jack and if Jack wins, he gets the bag but if Jack loses, Kang will break both his arms. Here's an excerpt:

    "He felt cocky knowing that if he lost, the FBI would jump in before his arms got broken. He really had nothing to lose and boasted, 'OK, you're on!' The room buzzed with excitement as they watched mild Jack stand up to the biker scum who was going to break his arms. Kang looked startled. He didn't think Jack would be so brave, or so stupid. He started thinking about his own reputation and how the room was waiting to see how the hand played out. In Kang's mind, it was past the point of backing out of the deal that he had announced to the room. If he won, he would have to break Jack's arms. It was now a matter of honor to him."

This is a book that cuts across many lines. It's a mystery, an adventure story, a biker tale, a love story, a story of overcoming adversity, a story of building your own future through positive thinking, and it's also a great story about motorcycles, especially Harley-Davidson motorcycles.

I found the book to be a page-turner that bikers will enjoy. It stresses the proper way to learn to ride including taking the MSF course and it stresses proper equipment and apparel to use when riding. Most other books don't go into so much detail. It puts everything neatly together to weave a tale that involves suicide, murder, motorcycle gangs, terrorist activities, love interests, advanced computer and communications techniques, the Internet, the renewal of life, and at the same time, the everyday goings on of legitimate motorcycle dealers and motorcycle groups.

I highly recommend Rigby's Roads.

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