Crashed by Timothy Hallinan
Series: #1 in the Junior Bender series
Publisher: Soho Press
Publication Date: 2012
Source: e-galley provided by publisher through NetGalley
The Short Version:
Junior Bender is a burglar through a series of interesting circumstances he ends up working a bit as a private investigator.
Why I Read It:
The book description caught my eye and a couple of positive reviews by people I know convinced me to give it a try.
From the publisher:
Junior Bender is a Los Angeles burglar with a magic touch. Since he first started breaking into houses when he was fourteen years old, he’s never once been caught. But now, after twenty-two years of an exemplary career, Junior has been blackmailed by Trey Annunziato, one of the most powerful crime bosses in LA, into acting as a private investigator on the set of Trey’s porn movie venture, which someone keeps sabotaging. The star Trey has lined up to do all that’s unwholesome on camera is Thistle Downing, America’s beloved child star, who now lives alone in a drug-induced stupor, destitute and uninsurable. Her starring role will be the scandalous fall-from-grace gossip of rubber-neckers across the country. No wonder Trey needs help keeping the production on track.
Junior knows what that he should do—get Thistle out and find her help—but doing the right thing will land him on the wrong side of LA’s scariest mob boss. With the help of his precocious twelve-year-old daughter, Rina, and his criminal sidekick, Louie the Lost (an ex-getaway driver), Junior has to figure out a miracle solution.
Well let me start by saying that I’ve purchased a copy of this so The Hubster can read it because I think he’ll enjoy it. Also I’ve already secured a copy of the second book Junior Bender series.
This was such fun. There’s a lot of humor mixed in with a very interesting mystery. I hope that some of the secondary characters will be back in future installments of the series. How can I not like a getaway driver nicknamed “Louie the Lost”?
Yes Junior is a burglar but he’s got a sense of ethics. His job to make sure that Thistle shows up for work and that Trey’s movie gets made but the more he learns and the more he gets to know not only Thistle but some of the other people involved his sense of right and wrong is at odds with his current job.
Some of this is a bit over the top but it’s a fun ride and a mystery that kept me both entertaining and guessing. Not only was the mystery about who was sabotaging the movie it was also about how was Junior going to get out of this by doing the right thing without ending up in jail and losing any contact with his daughter.
There’s plenty of action, some great bad guys, some great good guys (some of whom are on the wrong side of the law) and some laugh out loud moments along the way.
If you like your mysteries a with a dose of humor and some likable yet flawed characters I’d recommend giving this series a try.