Welcome to the retirement home of Henry and Frances, ex-New Yorkers and professional assassins: a luxury hotel suite in an idyllic, tequila-drenched Caribbean hideaway.
It's supposed to be all cocktails and sex on the beach. But when a job icing a Mafioso godfather goes awry, trouble hits paradise . . . in the form of a cross-dressing capo, a debauched Irish hard man and a slew of incompetent but vicious US marshals.
Following his hilarious first novel, Bone in the Throat, with another antic tale, Bourdain establishes himself as a new master of the wiseass crime comedy. Henri Denard, an ex-Vietnam War hero who was trained as an assassin by the CIA and is now cozy with the French government, is living a peacefully hedonistic life as a ponytailed hippie on St. Martin with his wife, Frances--who's smart, gorgeous and similarly handy with a gun. But Henry's past is coming back to haunt him: a year ago, 320-pound crossdressing mob boss Jimmy "Pazz" Calabrese hired him to knock off two rivals at a ski resort. Henry botched the job, allowing one of the mobsters, D'Andrea "Donnie Wicks" Balistieri, to survive. Now, not only has Donnie Wicks made a deal with the FBI to testify against Jimmy Pazz, but he's also ended up as Henry's neighbor on St. Martin. After weighing his options, Henry decides to confront Donnie directly. To gain access to the mobster, Henry and Frances befriend Donnie's friends and housesitters--uptight failing restaurateur Mickey and his fun-loving girlfriend, Rachel--and end up hitting it off with Donnie, too. Meanwhile, the thug Jimmy's hired to hit Donnie--and maybe Henry, too--has found true love with an Indian prostitute and isn't at all eager to complete the task. As Jimmy grows frustrated, the number of players--federal marshals, French spies and a variety of small-time gangsters--continues to mount, threatening mayhem and bloodshed. A potentially routine mob caper is brought to life by tight plotting, appealing characters and a stylish mix of irony, snappy dialogue and amoral verve. Author tour.