Sunday, August 11, 2013

Introducing Junior Bender

In these dog days of summer, here is a perfect mystery to read by the pool. Timothy Hallinan has written a light-hearted caper, featuring a funny, smart, heroic criminal. Crashed opens with Junior Bender, a Los Angeles burglar for hire, stealing a Paul Klee painting from a mobster. As he lifts the painting off the wall, he notices a hairline crack in the plaster and discovers a wall safe. Of course, he can't resist opening the safe to take a look inside, even though that wasn't part of the deal. The job starts to go sour when he notices that he's been caught on a security camera. After escaping with his life, a bag of diamonds and the painting, Junior finds himself being blackmailed.

Trey Annunziata, a ruthless crime boss, is trying to go legit, but she just needs to finish one more job, an adult film that will make her millions. Trey wants Junior to keep the star of the film, Thistle Downing, on track. Thistle was once the darling of American television, a child star that grew up in living rooms across the county. However, Thistle has gone off the rails and has spiraled out of control. Junior is supposed to be her minder, but ends up ... well, that would spoil it for you. You'll have to read it for yourself. Just know that Hallinan will take you on a wild ride, with zany characters and plenty of twists and turns. If you like Crashed, there are two more in the series, Little Elvises and The Fame Thief.


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