Bad Guys

Anthony Bruno, Author Putnam Publishing Group $17.95 (256p) ISBN 978-0-399-13340-4
""Everybody's a bad guy unless he's paid not to be,'' says a villain prior to getting his grisly, just desserts, and by the end of this crackling thriller readers may agree. FBI early-retiree (age 55) Gibbons is called back to service to find his ex-partner Tozzi who's gone renegade, murdering a corrupt Congressman, a crooked lawyer and a middle-management mobster. The special agent in charge of the Manhattan FBI office is determined to stop Tozzi before the SAC's own record is marred. Gibbons finds Tozzi quickly but immediately teams up with him to dig out a treacherous FBI agent who's been a Mafia butcher and informer. Tozzi becomes sexually involved with Joanne Varga, Mafia princess and separated wife of a capo supposedly stashed away in a witness-protection program. But Varga is still running the mob, aided by the duplicitous, lethal Joanne. Gibbons and Tozzi eventually uncover a big-time insurance-arson scam and the Jekyll-and-Hyde Mafia/FBI killer. This slick, fast-moving narrative offers interesting inside looks at the FBI and the Mafia (``a multiservice conglomerate for extralegal activities'') and some delicious characters (``Bobo raised one hand and laid the other on a video box. . . . `I swear to God, Tox' ''). Bruno's first novel isn't merely promising, it's a money debut. And he is working on a sequel. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/25/1988
Release date: 05/01/1988
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