Deal with the Dead

Les Standiford, Author Putnam Adult $24.95 (336p) ISBN 978-0-399-14704-3
After a 30-month-long hiatus that produced the Deal-less action chiller Black Mountain (Forecasts, Jan. 31), erudite suspense author Standiford brings back urban Miami builder John Deal--a sort of ""Galahad with a claw hammer""--in this artfully crafted, ingeniously layered noir fiction. Moving easily back and forth from the late '50s-early '60s (when Deal's construction mogul father, Barton Deal, played a major part in building the Gleason/Sinatra-era skyscrapers of Miami and Miami Beach) to time present, when John is struggling to restore the fortunes of DealCo, the novel also hopscotches from Turkey to Paris, the Caribbean and South Florida, taking scion Deal and his ex-cop sidekick Vernon Driscoll on a collision course with the past. When Deal learns he has been selected as the winning bidder on a lucrative government-funded project, he is visited by a mysterious figure claiming to be a federal spook. John is told that, to save himself from bankruptcy, his father was coerced into an alliance with a Mafia kingpin, then forced to turn informer for the same covert government agent. Caught between the forces of good and evil, Deal's father was ordered to assassinate his friend Grant Rhodes, a high-rolling owner of a gambling ship and several casinos. His betrayal of the mob led to the elder Deal's apparent suicide. In time present, John is caught up in a similar quandary as Rhodes's son shows up to collect his father's treasure stash. Standiford endows his sixth Deal adventure with a gloriously labyrinthine plot, Arthurian characters and Gatsbyesque atmospherics, proving once more that he is a master of crime fiction. Considering that Deal fans have been waiting more than two years for their fix, this satisfying addition to the series should enjoy brisk sales. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 02/01/2001
Release date: 02/01/2001
Mass Market Paperbound - 320 pages - 978-0-425-18385-4
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 978-0-7865-8092-7
Paperback - 326 pages - 978-1-59058-683-9
Paperback - 520 pages - 978-1-4596-5695-6
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-61595-310-3
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