Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
Gold Dagger Award-finalist Dobyns's genius for dark comedy makes this intricate crime novel a triumph that will appeal to Elmore Leonard and Carl Hiaasen fans. An arch, omniscient narrative voice draws you in, setting the stage for a grim death in New London, Conn. A dump truck backs onto the street just as a motorcycle rider passes by, cutting him in half. The identity of the victim and whether the incident was an accident are initially mysteries. The tragedy allows gradual introductions of an eccentric but plausible cast of characters, starting with Connor Raposo, a visitor from San Diego, Calif., who witnesses the accident. Others include police partners who have an antagonistic relationship and a group of con artists who bilk the gullible by soliciting charitable donations for organizations such as the Holy Sisters of the Blessed Little Feet and Free Beagles from Nicotine Addiction. Dobyns (The Burn Palace) skillfully interweaves the various plot threads, such as the picaresque exploits of a homeless man named Fidget and threats to a resident suspected of being a federally protected witness. Frequent instances of wry humor and direct addresses to the reader are a plus. Agent: Phyllis Westberg, Harold Ober Associates. (Sept.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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Review by Kirkus Book Review
Another darkly comic whodunit from veteran novelist Dobyns (The Burn Palace, 2013, etc.). First O.J., now Connor Raposo: Bruno Magli needs a better product-placement company. Connor is on his way to pick up a pair of the luxurious slip-ons from a New London cobbler's shop when he happens on a grisly sight: a motorcycle has collided with a dump truck, never a good thing. "The rider has been ripped in two so his bloody torso lies in the street, while under the truck at the end of a red smear, are the legs, one with a boot, one not." And then there's the heador rather, there's not the head, which has gone missing. Yuck. Poor Fat Bobfor so poor Roberto Rossi is known. Except is it really Fat Bob, who owes the wrong people money and knows too much about the wrong things, who's the headless Harley horseman in question? Connor's got his hands full with that question. Two New London detectives are working on it as well, and given that two bodies can't occupy the same space, well.Dobyns writes with a nicely offhand goofiness: when a chopper mechanic asks the detectives whether Fat Bob is really dead, one replies, "I didn't check his pulse, but he was in two pieces." Yup. Adding to the grimly funny proceedings is Connor's back story, which finds an out-of-work schoolteacher mixed up in mischief to the point that "the line between legal and illegal wasn't so much crossed as crushed." Connor's a good guy, as are most of the folks we encounter in this good-natured, forgiving look at human foibles. As one of Connor's pals observes, all of us are just waiting for the flowerpot to come dropping down from the terrace above and take us outand the bikers, detectives, sexpots, mobsters, and other assorted figures in the book are all, as Connor knows, "flowerpots waiting to happen." Fat Bob is, too. And where did that head go, anyway? A lively, laugh-out-loud winner. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
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