A Nasty Piece of Work

Robert Littell. St. Martin’s/Dunne, $24.99 (272p) ISBN 978-1-250-02145-8
At the start of this throwback to Raymond Chandler from bestseller Littell (Young Philby), bail bondswoman Onella Neppi calls on Lemuel Gunn, a former CIA agent turned wise-cracking PI who lives in a trailer on the edge of the New Mexico desert, for help. Emilio Gava, who was recently arrested for buying drugs in Las Cruces, has absconded after Neppi posted his $125,000 bail—a sum of money she’s sure to lose if Gava doesn’t turn up soon. To complicate matters, all photos of Gava at the Las Cruces Star and the police station have disappeared. Gunn’s search for Gava’s identity brings him in contact with the FBI and, finally, with rival mob families in a small gambling town. The would-be witty writing often turns hokey—a pitfall of trying to approximate Chandler—and most characters speak in the same banter to the point of being indistinguishable, but the solid plot will keep readers engaged. Agent: Ed Victor, Ed Victor Ltd. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/02/2013
Release date: 11/19/2013
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 259 pages - 978-1-250-05463-0
Open Ebook - 272 pages - 978-1-250-02280-6
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