The Old Turk’s Load

Gregory Gibson, Author
Gregory Gibson. Grove/Atlantic/Mysterious, $24 (288p) ISBN 978-0-8021-2113-4
Reviewed on: 02/04/2013
Release date: 04/01/2013
The 1967 Newark, N.J., riots form the backdrop for Gibson’s quirky, amusing first novel. Farmed on “a remote Anatolian plateau” by an old Turk, “ten plastic sacks of diacetyl morphine” arrive in New Jersey in the care of the notorious Street Brothers, who promptly lose the load during the chaos of the riots that summer. The mob wants it back, but the eccentric Mailman sees it as a shot at a better life. Meanwhile, a businessman hires Manhattan PI Walkaway Kelly to spy on his daughter, the heiress Gloria Mundi. Gloria is dabbling in subversion with “the well-known revolutionary” Kevin Gallagher, a mole for the feds. Kelly’s world-weary observations anchor the action: “If there was a genetic predisposition to the low life, this poor bastard had it.” This well-handled caper novel recalls the late great Donald Westlake. Readers will want to see more crime, and more comedy, from Gibson. Agent: Neeti Madan, Sterling Lord Literistic. (Apr.)
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