A Junior Bender Mystery #5
Soho Crime, April 2016
A large, sprawling text. By turns, funny, intriguing, self-indulgent, long, meandering, plot-centric but character driven. The story is clever and overloaded with odd, interesting and often out-of control characters. As such, the book provides an interesting if skewed insider look at Hollywood and some of its more popular if lesser-known residents. First we have the principal driving force. Here, readers have a choice between Ronnie Bigelow, sexy, enigmatic, passionate, she of mysterious logically criminal past, and Junior Bender, a burglar of some reputation in Los Angeles. Junior is usually a contract thief, targeting homes and businesses for specific objects at the request of other criminals.
Fine. The project becomes dangerous almost from the start when a meticulously timed foray dumps Junior into a tag team aimed at deleting him with the aid of baseball bats. Junior escapes with the help of the aforementioned Bigelow, ivy covered walls and a crotchety neighbor. But the adventure isn’t over. A rollicking car chase involving one aging Toyota (Bender’s) against a fleet of modern high-powered vehicles (the bad guy) rolls over the Hollywood hills, endangering, at least momentarily, a high percentage of local and possibly innocent citizens.
Suffice it to say, everything works out in the end after a number of additional violent confrontations, some intense interpersonal connection and a lot of words, sarcastic, funny and largely enjoyable.
Reviewed by Carl Brookins, May 2016.
The Case of the Purloined Painting, The Case of the Great Train Robbery, Reunion, Red Sky.
Great review, and the book sounds quite unique, too.
At first I thought this might be set in “movie-star” Hollywood, but it sounds more like just the city of Hollywood. Hollywood has its own unique personality and is a good setting for quirky characters. Good review. Sounds interesting.
Tim is one of my very favorite authors. I have enjoyed all of his books and look forward to reading this one.
This sounds truly interesting. Very nice review! 🙂
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