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Tuesday 13 January 2015

‘A Nasty Piece Of Work’ By Robert Littell

Published by Gerald Duckworth and Company Ltd, 27 March 2014.

At first this appears to be a (fairly) light-hearted romp of a book as PI and former homicide detective Lemuel Gunn sets out to locate bail-jumper Emilio Gava.  There are definite shades of Philip Marlowe here as the lovely Ornella Neppi appeals to Gunn for help, since she stands to lose $125,000 of her bail-bondsman uncle's money if Gava is not found.

Gunn served in the US military in Afghanistan and several times Littell breaks into his story, without seriously breaking the momentum, to describe some harrowing details of that thoroughly pointless war.

As the book progresses, the action becomes increasingly murky as Gunn discovers that nobody is exactly what they purport to be.  Kidnappings, murder, sex – it's all here.  Gunn's character is charming: he lives in a large trailer home called the Once In a Blue Moon and has an adopted daughter whom he rescued as an Afghan orphan.  I really look forward to reading more about Lemuel Gunn.
Reviewer: Sue Moody

Robert Littell has been ranked amongst John Le Carre and Graham Greene for his masterful spy fiction. A Newsweek journalist in a previous incarnation, Littell has been writing about the Soviet Union and Russians since his first novel, the espionage classic The Defection of A.J.Lewinter. Among his numerous critically acclaimed novels are The October Circle, Mother Russia, The Debriefing, The Sisters, The Revolutionist, The Once and Future Spy, An Agent in Place, The Visiting Professor, the New York Times bestselling The Company (adapted for a TNT mini-series), and Legends (winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Award for Best Thriller of 2005) and For the Future of Israel, a book of conversations with Shimon Peres. Littell is an American who makes his home in France.

Susan Moody was born and brought up in Oxford.  She has published over 30 crime and suspense novels, including the Penny Wanawake series and the Cassandra Swann bridge series.  She is a past Chairman of the British Crime Writers' Association, a member of the Detection Club, a past Writer-in-Residence at the University of Tasmania and a past President of the International Association of Crime Writers.  She divides her time between south-west France and south-east Kent.   Nominated for the CWA short story award.  Nominated for the RNA's award. 

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