From a writer described as “a worthy successor to Raymond Chandler” (Michael Connelly), the follow-up to Shortcut Man, featuring Dick Henry in a rousing tale of sin and salvation in the City of Angels.
Dick Henry is the Shortcut Man, assisting people with their sticky situations in the belief that the shortest answer to many problems may not always be legal. In Tribulations of the Shortcut Man, he reluctantly provides assistance to an old girlfriend, pole dancer Pussy Grace.
After Pussy’s boyfriend, rich and famous developer and septuagenarian Art Lewis, has inexplicably cut off communication with her, Dick and Puss enter Lewis’s mansion disguised as gas company employees to investigate. Everything quickly goes downhill. Dick and Puss flee, leaving the very dead Art Lewis behind. Dick anticipates arrest until news breaks the next morning: Art Lewis has just gotten married and is now enjoying his honeymoon. Realizing a conspiracy is afoot, Dick must navigate his way through the underbelly of Los Angeles and a motley crew of miscreants in pursuit of justice.
“Filled with enough dark humor and shady characters to satisfy the most rabid noir fan” (Associated Press), p.g. sturges’s Shortcut Man series is hard-boiled crime at its best.
Likable L.A. lowlifes and conniving Hollywood has-beens populate Sturges's entertaining sequel to 2011's Shortcut Man. It's all in a day's work for vigilante-for-hire Dick Henry when he arranges for Harry Glidden, a judge turned TV personality, to get a painting forged to pass to his spiteful ex-wife as part of her divorce settlement. Things get complicated, though, after Dick finds out that Harry and his actress girlfriend are involved in a scheme to force their rich friend, 74-year-old Art Lewis, into a sham marriage so they can steal his millions. This means the ouster of Art's current girlfriend, 32-year-old ex-ecdysiast Pussy Grace. That Pussy is an intimate of Dick's helps fuel his efforts to expose Glidden's scam, which lead to a cascade of amusing misdemeanors, mistaken identities, and ill-timed deaths worthy of a screwball comedy by Preston Sturges (not coincidentally the author's father). Light on logic but full of laughs, this exercise in smart-aleck noir should have wide appeal.