Shoot the Moon

Joseph T. Klempner, Author
Joseph T. Klempner, Author Thomas Dunne Books $24.95 (336p) ISBN 978-0-312-15424-0
Reviewed on: 07/31/1997
Release date: 08/01/1997
Mass Market Paperbound - 376 pages - 978-0-312-96446-7
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A cleverly executed hybrid, this feel-good thriller drops an unlikely hero, an inept but super-straight accountant-on-the-skids, into the thick of the New York City drug culture. Unemployed widower Michael Goodman, on a last-ditch job hunt in Florida, stumbles onto a cache of ultra-pure heroin in a rental car mix-up caused by a Latin drug dealer's hangover. Desperate for cash for his six-year-old daughter's serious medical problems, Michael evades druglords and K-9 sniffers and whisks the dope back to his Manhattan walkup--where his adventures really begin. A bungled mugging by a black teen in serious withdrawal begives Michael a chance to contact a local dealer. The dealer, Big Red, sets up a ""sample buy"" at midnight but stiffs Michael, stealing the drug sample, his pants, shoes and wallet. Later, he rescues an abused woman, Carmen Cruz, who, after romance ensues, arranges for Michael to meet her brother, who has Mafia ties to the drug world. Soon word of the pure heroin has spread to the NYPD and the DEA through their snitches, among whom are Michael's teen contact and Big Red himself. Goodman ends up the focus of a drug sting, the game in a druglord revenge hunt and a target of Big Red's greed. These forces trip over themselves while Goodman, ever the innocent, goes calmly forward with his plan to get enough money to take care of his daughter. Criminal defense attorney and ex-narcotics agent Klempner (Felony Murder) knows this world well. His magic lies in preserving the purity of a true innocent amid the evils of the drug world, thus creating a study in contrast that will satisfy thrill seekers, especially those who still believe in happy endings. (Aug.)
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