Introducing Junior Bender, the favorite burglar turned private investigator of Hollywood crooks.
Junior Bender is a Los Angeles burglar with a magic touch. Since he first started breaking into houses at age fourteen, he's never once been caught. But now, after twenty-two years building 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 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 rubberneckers across the country. No wonder Trey needs help keeping the production on track.
Junior knows what he should do - 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, ex-getaway driver Louie the Lost, Junior will have to pull off a miracle to get out of this mess.
Timothy Hallinan is the Edgar - and Macavity Award - nominated author of over a dozen widely praised books, including the Poke Rafferty Bangkok thrillers and the Junior Bender series. In 2010 he conceived and edited an e-book of original short stories by twenty mystery writers, Shaken: Stories for Japan, with 100 percent of the proceeds going to Japanese disaster relief.
©2012 Timothy Hallinan (P)2012 Blackstone Audio, Inc
"Tim Hallinan has done it again. He's created a must-read series that you will find hard to put down! Junior Bender is all you could ever want in a hero-thief: smart and funny, with a penchant for finding himself in situations he'd much rather avoid. Do not miss any of these books. A must-read in my house." (Brett Battles, author of the award-winning Jonathan Quinn series)
"Crashed is funny, thrilling, and even sad - a great beginning for a great new series. Timothy Hallinan is one of my favorite writers, and this is Hallinan at the top of his game. It's laugh-out-loud funny without ever losing any of its mystery. It's a whole new style and I love it. Junior Bender - a crook with a heart of gold - is one of Hallinan's most appealing heroes, rich with invention and brimming with classic wit. I can't recommend it highly enough." (Shadoe Stevens, Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson)
"Hallinan is one of the master storytellers of our generation. Crashed is pure rapture." (CJ West, author of The End of Marking Time)
Love a good mystery, but don't care much for pure thrillers.
I enjoyed this light read because of its humor and its convoluted plot. Yes, it strains credibility, but this is not great literature, just recreational reading that is much enhanced by the quality of the narration. I enjoy mysteries in which the hero is himself a criminal. This reminded me of the classic series by Richard Stark featuring Parker, although Junior is not nearly so ruthless. After all, he has a daughter he loves and and an ex-wife he hopes to win back. He's a little bit disarming in his forthrightness. I can imagine his going to a parent-teacher conference and, responding to his daughter's query about what he does for a living, that he is a professional thief. I look forward to the next in the series.
The writing has extremely interesting with very creative banter that makes listening even more enjoyable. Great characters and great interaction. It's a serious story with a good bit of situational humor. A smart crook with a conscience has to be funny sometimes but the other characters are equally as interesting. The narration sounded a little annoying at first, not your normal voice, but easy to get used to, quickly, and then you find out he is actually quite good. Excellent story and he makes the implausible plausible.
Yes, because you are never quite sure who is on what side or where this is going.
Tough choice but Junior or Thistle. Both are smart, tough and in your face, take no prisoners kind of people. Total honesty with complete disregard for the consequences. Easy to admire and helps make the story interesting.
Bought this on a chance without knowing author or narrator. One of my better guesses. Read reviews of other Junior Bender mysteries and apparently you want to chose carefully, can't hit a home run every time I guess, but both my wife and I thoroughly enjoyed our trip more thanks to this book.
Seattle gardener, reader and food lover
Heard a book review of Crashed by Nancy Pearl from the Seattle Public Library (check out her website) She really loved this book, so I checked it out and I'm so glad I did. Junior Bender's is my burglar hero! The other characters are well written as well and the story is fantastic. Peter Berkrot did a great job bringing Hallinan story to life. I can't wait for the next book in the series
hallianan can certainly build up some comedy and a character or two, great listen this one, i'll be checking out the next "junior" adventure.
berkrot nailed the performance i would have given this an extra star for the story, however i found particular plot movements predictable (from me that's saying something) and the moralising was laid on a just a little thick for my liking. probably unfair criticism but there you go.
CRASHED is a kind of an Elmore Leonard genre novel.
The similarity between Jack Foley[Bank robber] in OUT OF SIGHT [by Elmore Leonard] and Junior Bender[burglar in CRASHED] is that both are good hearted but Jack
Foley [played by George Clooney in the movie version]seems more believable as a successful criminal.......... as do the bunch of flawed people he is surrounded with.
Still,while CRASH is not as raucous and funny as a good Leonard novel,,,,,,,,,,,
If you are in the mood for some light summer fare it is an enjoyable listen.
The plot and characters are well crafted,the narrator does a good job.
I MIGHT listen to more Hallinan depending on what I'm in the mood for.
This is a "Feel Good" novel.Everybody feels good at the end.
The good are treated good .The bad are punished.
Somehow I had this feeling throughout the listen.
I enjoyed this audiobook, my first Junior Bender, very much. I couldn't find another audiobook of Donald Westlake's Dortmunder series, only Kindle copies with no Audlble Add-on WhisperSync aft his "Good Behavior" & "Get Real" & I thank the reviewer who suggested Bender series as an option aft Westlake. Bender slowed for me thru Jr's readiing of Thistle's journal pages & a little thru the 2nd mother's telling of graveyard backstory, but the latter is necessary for future events I suppose & perhaps the former has a couple of details necessary for future understanding. Even though I fast-fwded thru journal section, I followed story. The story took off after the burial-ground scene & was action enough prior to either of my felt lags.
I love books!
First time author for me. Sometimes you see a book, read the summary and decide to give it a shot. That's what I did with this one and it's one of those times where it paid off. I really enjoyed this book and will get the next one in the series.
The author spends six months out of the year in the Los Angeles area and six months in SE Asia, mostly in Bangkok. He must have a history is the entertainment industry as he knows it pretty well. This is the third series he has written. I found it via audible suggestions based on other books I'd read.
In this first book of the Junior Bender series, Junior is a career burglar in LA. He's called upon by someone else in the industry to go steal a painting and it's a set up. From there Junior goes from one situation to another in short order as he tries to unravel the mystery. At the core of it is a gal who grew up as a child star in TV, made lots of money, had lots of fame then 'crashed' and burned turning to heavy duty drugs and losing all her money in the process. Now an LA crime boss wants her to make a porn film as a quick way for the boss to make a big hit in short order. Junior is hired by the boss to make sure it all happens.
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