(Paperback) April 2014.
Junior Bender, the protagonist in this, the third in this series, has a franchise, according to the eminence grise of Hollywood, the powerful Irwin Dressler, the 93-year-old mob boss. Junior prides himself as a burglar’s burglar, and has found himself much in demand by criminals as their own private investigator. And that’s why Dressler has two of his goons snatch Junior off the street and bring him to his home. He asks Junior to find out who was responsible for ruining a minor actress’ career over 60 years earlier.
This gives the author an opportunity to describe the Hollywood scene of the 1950’s, together with the glamour of Las Vegas and the prevalence of mafia bigwigs and run-of-the mill hoodlums. It is a mystery why a minor starlet became so important to the mob that she had a single starring role: testifying at the Estes Kefauver crime hearings.
This book has quite a plot, and Junior has a tough road to hoe to solve the mystery. Recommended.
Reviewer: Ted Feit
Timothy Hallinan has written ten published novels, all thrillers, all critically praised. In the 1990s he wrote six mysteries featuring the erudite private eye Simeon Grist, beginning with The Four Last Things which made several Ten Best lists, including that of The Drood Review. The other books in the series were widely and well reviewed, and several of them were optioned for motion pictures. The series is now regarded as a cult favourite. In 2007, the first of his Poke Rafferty Bangkok thrillers, A Nail Through the Heart, was published to unanimously enthusiastic reviews. "It was a Booksense Pick of the Month and was named one of the top mysteries of the year by The Japan Times and several major online review sites. Hallinan has written full-time since 2006. Since 1982 he has divided his time between Los Angeles and Southeast Asia, the setting for his Poke Rafferty novels.