CRASHED by Timothy Hallinan is one of the best books I've read this year (and I've read a LOT of books this year!)
[This is a spoiler free review. Most of what I tell you about the book is revealed in the first few chapters.]
Junior Bender is a thief, a master thief. He's never been arrested or convicted. He's good. Unfortunately for him, he may be a little too
good, as he's the one other criminals come to when they need help with something.
Junior has been 'hired' to steal a painting. The first problem is that the job almost gets the best of him when four ferocious rottweilers get loose in the house with him, and the second problem is when he finds out that the job was a frame-up, and is being used to blackmail him into doing another job.
Trey Annunciato is the daughter of a big crime boss, and is rumored to have knocked off her old man in order to take over. But now she wants to transition her crime organization into a series of legal businesses. She's making a trilogy of porn films starring Thistle Downing. Thistle Downing was an incredibly talented child actress on a TV series that ran for years. She's now 21, a drug addict, broke, and on her last leg. Trey is blackmailing Junior into making sure that Thistle survives long enough to make the films, and that she shows up on the set when she's needed.
The problem is, someone is trying to kill Thistle, and Junior has taken a liking to Thistle and hates to see her doing this to herself.
The book has a strong caste of wonderful characters, a plot that just carries you along so fast that you'll be lucky if you don't finish the book in one day (and get nothing else done, of course). I can't recommend the book highly enough. It's a fun, touching, tense, humorous and suspenseful mystery (yes, all of those things). It will leave you wanting more. Fortunately, it's the beginning of a new series, so there's more fun in store.
The book is available currently from Amazon on all of the Kindle platforms, and should be available on the Nook early next year. It can be purchased for $2.99 at:
AMAZON: Crashed by Timothy Hallinan
One of the best bang-for-your-buck deals of 2010!!!