Monday, June 09, 2014

Herbie's Game --Timothy Hallinan

Junior Bender is back in another terrific crime novel by Timothy Hallinan.  If you've read the others in the series (and if you haven't, it's time to start), you know that Junior is a burglar and an unconventional, unlicensed private-eye.  He investigates things for other crooks, who naturally don't want the law involved.  

This time, someone's broken into the office of an acquaintance named Wattles, who runs various criminal enterprises, including arranging for hits.  He makes the arrangements by means of a "chain," which keeps the hit person distant from Wattles and from whoever ordered the hit.  Wattles, who's worried about his memory, has written down the names of the people in the chain, and the list has been stolen from his office safe.  Junior immediately recognizes the handiwork of Herbie Mott, Junior's mentor and surrogate father.  Junior pays a visit to Herbie and finds him unpleasantly dead. He's been tortured.  Junior vows to find the people responsible and begins to trace the chain.  Others are tracing it, too, and more people are dying.

As the investigation progresses, Junior begins to learn that we never really know anyone as well as we think we do and that some of the things we learn about them are not good things.  He also learns some things about himself along the way to finding the answers he's looking for.

Hallinan always brings in some great and colorful characters, and this book is generous with them, which is good, since some of the characters we've come to know in the earlier books depart the scene this time. I'm hoping that some of the new ones will turn up again.  The writing is top-notch, and somehow Hallinan, who has style to spare, can keep a light touch while writing about some serious stuff.  I really enjoyed this one.  Maybe you will, too.  You should get a copy and find out.  

1 comment:

Steve Oerkfitz said...

Glad he is continuing the series. Loved the first 3.