“Thunderbolt and Lightfoot” – the review

'74 paperback cover
'74 paperback cover
Thunderbolt and Lightfoot…they teamed up to rob a bank.  One did it to prove he still had the professional touch.  The other to find out if he was a man.
Last month at Wizard World Dallas, in a box under a table at the back of the hall, I found this book for a dollar.  Apparently the guy who was selling it is a Clint Eastwood fan, because there were paperbacks of most of Clint’s movies in there.  Haven’t you always wanted to read “Firefox?”
Anyway, I know good GonzoGeek fodder when I see it.
The guy on your left, in the hat is Lightfoot.  We meet him early on as he steals a car from a used car lot in Montana.  The guy in the white t-shirt is Thunderbolt.  While Lightfoot is stealing the car, Thunderbolt is nearly assassinated by a former member of his gang while Thunderbolt is giving a Sunday morning sermon at a tiny Montana church.
With me so far?
I’ll be honest, the cover was what got me.  It was so similar to the covers of all those Mack Bolan/Able Team/Phoenix Force books I read in my teens.  Don’t know what I’m talking about ?  CLICK HERE.
Then there’s the caddy.  Anyone who knows me knows how badly I want one of those convertible tail-finned monstrosities.
Anway, back to our regularly scheduled review kids.
Thunderbolt and Lightfoot hook up rather fortuitously and hit the road in the stolen car on the way to pick up the loot from a heist Thunderbolt and his estranged gangmates pulled several years ago.  When they get there they find not only the loot, but the actual hiding place gone.
This all leads to a reconciliation, tenuous though it may be, with the gang and a restaging of the heist.
As I was doing some research for this review, I’ve become unclear if this was a pre-existing novel or a novelization of the script for the 1974 Clint Eastwood/Jeff Bridges movie.  Either way its a pretty fun, low key heist caper.
There is plenty of sex, crude language and violene to go around.
It takes a while to get to the actual heist, but the planning is fun to read about.  Once things go into action in the thid act, they move quickly to their inevitable conclusion.  To tell much more would be to ruin the ending.  I won’t do that.
What I will do is say that this was a fun read.  It was light and tight.  It moved the plot along and kept me engaged.  Some of the characters were thinly drawn, but its pulp.  What do you expect.
So I guess the question we have to ask at this point is this…”Was it worth the $1 I paid for it?”  Absolutely.
“Thunderbolt & Lightfoot” is one of those movies that seemed to be in perpetual rotation on the late night movies when I was a kid.  I know I’ve seen parts of it, but now, having read the book, I’ve put it in my Netflix queue and will get around to reviewing it eventually as well.

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