Hollywood burgler Junior Bender finds himself caught in a revenge plot epic enough for the silver screen.
Los Angeles’s most talented burglar, Junior Bender, is in the middle of stealing one of the world’s rarest stamps from a professional killer when his luck suddenly turns sour. It takes an unexpected assist to get him out alive, but his escape sets off a chain reaction of blackmail, strong-arming, and escalating crime. By the time Junior is forced to commit his third burglary of the week—in the impregnable fortress that’s home to the ruthless studio mogul called King Maybe—he’s beginning to wish he’d just let the killer take a crack at him.
In Edgar-finalist Hallinan's darkly comic fifth Junior Bender mystery (after 2014's Herbie's Game), the endearing Los Angeles burglar is faced with his biggest existential crisis yet. His enigmatic girlfriend, Ronnie Bigelow, has left him; a malicious girl is picking on his estranged teenage daughter; and everyone he knows seemingly wants him dead. Meanwhile, a down-and-out movie producer manipulates Bender into breaking into a mansion owned by Jeremy Granger (aka King Maybe), who many view as the "most powerful person in Hollywood." When Bender is caught red-handed, King Maybe offers him a way out of his predicament but the quick-witted thief realizes too late that he has been carefully set-up to take the fall for a much more nefarious crime. Powered by Hallinan's smart and sardonic narrative voice (a young actress is described as an "emaciated, Giacometti sculpture of tendons, tension, and teeth"), this brisk romp through the Hollywood Hills reads like a novel half its length: an undeniable page-turner.
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I was a fan of the series when King Maybe came out. I think it's the best one yet. Loved the pace, the suspense, the ending. Junior is one of my favorites - a modern day Robin Hood. Keep up the great work Timothy!