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Frank Machianno is the guy, a late-middle-aged ex-surf bum who runs a bait shack on the San Diego waterfront. That's when he's not juggling any of his other three part-time jobs or trying to get a quick set in on his long board. He's a beloved fixture of the community, a stand-up businessman, a devoted father to his daughter. Frank's also a hit man. Well, a retired hit man.
Back in the day, when he was one of the most feared members of the West Coast mob, he was known as Frankie Machine. Years ago, Frank consigned his mob ties to the past, which is where he wants them to stay. But a favour called in by the local boss is one Frank simply can't refuse, and before he knows it he's sucked back into the treacherous currents of his former life. Someone from his past wants him dead, and he has to figure out who, and why, and he has to do it fast. The problem is that the list of candidates is about the size of his local phone book and Frank's rapidly running out of time...
Elmore Leonard fans who have not yet discovered Winslow (The Power of the Dog) will be delighted by his fourth thriller with its sympathetic antihero. Frank Machianno, a retired mob hit man known as Frankie Machine as a tribute to his efficiency, has put his past behind him and is living a tranquil life in San Diego running a bait shop and supplying restaurants with linens and seafood. When the son of a local mob boss asks for his backup in resolving a dispute with the Detroit mob, Frank agrees, only to find that he's been set up as the intended victim of a hit. Using his survival skills and street smarts, the executioner follows a trail of bodies to identify which of his past crimes has caught up with him. While the plot is familiar, Winslow has created plausible characters and taut scenes of suspense that will keep readers turning pages. Author tour.