Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
Junior Bender takes on his most personal case yet in Hallinan's rollicking fourth mystery featuring the master safe-and joke-cracker (after 2013's The Fame Thief). When Wattles, a notorious crook based in L.A.'s San Fernando Valley, realizes that he's missing a very important piece of paper, a list of all the "disconnects," or shady men, he hired to pull off a job, he asks Bender to retrieve the document. Bender's first stop, however, ends in tragedy: when he calls on his mentor and father figure, Herbie Mott, he finds that Herbie has been tortured and killed. Herbie taught Bender everything he knows about stealing, but Bender is in for a shock when unsavory details of Herbie's life come to light, with all-too-real consequences for the wisecracking thief and those close to him. Hallinan injects what could be a stale revenge tale with his signature dry wit, making Bender a laconic antihero to admire. Agent: Bob Mecoy, Bob Mecoy Literary. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by Kirkus Book Review
When a crook is burgled, its not a good day for anybody.Usually, Wattles [no first name] the contractor is the one breaking the law. Hes perfected a system of murder for hire that involves something like six degrees of separation between the trigger man and himself. So when someone breaks into his house and steals his list of disconnectspeople who call people who call people who shoot peoplehes both surprised and annoyed. But not too annoyed to summon Junior Bender (Little Elvises, 2013, etc.) and offer him $10,000 for the safe return of the list. Junior has an even more compelling reason for being interested in the case. Its clear from the burglars methods that he was none other than Herbie Mott, the master thief who taught Junior everything he knew. By the time he catches up with Herbie, however, its too late to ask him anything about the theft, because hes suffered a fatal heart attack right in the middle of being tortured by experts. Its clear that the other disconnects are in danger, though itll be equally clear to fans of the series that Junior wont care nearly as much about what happens to any of them. And a good thing, too, because Herbie may have given Junior a bum steer from beyond the grave. Ruben Ghorbani, the knee-breaker Herbie assumed would kill him if anybody did, may have found Jesus. That would leave the field wide open, and since practically everybody Junior runs into is a criminal of one sort or another, this job could take quite a while.As usual, Hallinan devotes such loving attention to a host of minor characters, all framed by Juniors deadpan narrative, that the whodunit is the least important ingredient in this shaggy, overstuffed caper. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
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