You wouldn’t think that criminals would need their own private investigator, but when you’re dealing with double crossings, rats, and general dishonesty, you realize that maybe the idea isn’t so far-fetched after all. Timothy Hallinan’s Junior Bender series starts with Crashed, and is published by SoHo Crime.
Los Angeles is full of people and things that are not what they seem, and the criminal underground is no different. Junior Bender is not your regular neighborhood burglar. He’s smart, witty, and doesn’t let a lot of people in his inner circle. When Junior is set up by a local scum bag, he realizes that he’s been blackmailed because they want his help.
Trey Annunziato, the most ruthless crime boss in LA, wants Junior to help stop whoever is trying to sabotage Trey’s porn film. The problem isn’t the porn, it’s that Trey is trying to go legit and is using America’s sweetheart, former child actor Thistle Downing, in the film. Junior can either help Trey get the movie made, or be fed to the dogs. Literally. Although Junior has moral objections to the project, not to mention the potential disappointment from his daughter Rina, Junior also knows that a disappointed 12-year-old is better than being dead.
If you enjoy shows like ‘Burn Notice’ and ‘White Collar’ then you will love this book. Junior is funny, smart and doesn’t have a filter between his brain and his mouth. Hallinan creates the perfect balance between dirt bag crime and intelligent crime. Junior has no desire to walk away from the life that he has, but he doesn’t hide it from his daughter either. They have a surprisingly open relationship. This story isn’t quite a mystery, it isn’t quite a who-dun-it, but there is plenty of suspense, car chases, and witty fun to keep you entertained.
You can find Crashed at any of Tulsa’s local book stores: Barnes & Noble, Books-a-Million, The Frugal Bookworm and Gardners.
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