New York, late 1958. Walter Withers had given the best years of his life to the CIA, setting honeytraps and reeling in the victims of his plots. But Withers has returned to his hometown for an easier, safer life as a private investigator. Manhattan in the late '50s is alive with new possibilities, new sounds, and new faces, including young presidential hopeful Senator Joe Keneally. Withers is assigned as a bodyguard for Keneally’s girlfriend at a society gathering, a simple enough job. But the next morning she’s dead—and Withers is the prime suspect. To clear his name, he must take on his old masters from the CIA, as well as J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI, all of them determined to set the senator up. Will Withers, expert hunter, become another disposable victim of the trap closing in on Keneally?
©1996 Don Winslow (P)2011 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
A few must reads: Mr. Mercedes, Narrows Gate, Cop Town, Bomb Proof, Wayfaring Stranger, The Son (Nesbo), Dept Q series...
This is set in NY shortly after WWII. It has all the flair of poetry, beatnicks, cigarettes in cases, martinis, black tie affairs and bohemian lifestyles in the Village. Winslow does such a great job with this the story became secondary. But this isn't to say its not a great story.
I liked the jazz scenes and the NY high society atmosphere. I enjoyed a documentary on Charles Mingus and the Duchess recently, a real person Winslow uses in this novel. This duchess really did patrol the late night jazz scene to help out stoned or drunk musicians during the 50s and 60s. Its scenes and characters like this that never fails to fascinate.
It has the feel of a darker version of Breakfast at Tiffany's, darker due to the intrigue.
Dont know how Don, who wrote such great works as Frank the Machine, Savages, the Dawn Patrol could strike out so sound,y. I tried, I really tried, but was do so bored by the story I just gave it up. Don't let this dissuade you from his other books. Like the great Babe, Don is a home run king and apparently a strike out one as well. It just happens.
vintage clever intrigue
Marta - I think I knew her.
A bit slow in the reading but his delivery fit the times.
Its nothing like "Savages" or "Mike Hammer with class"
The best thing I can say about Winslow's books is they aren't formulaic. HE can range from riveting to dull so choose his books carefully. Isle of Dreams, Power of the Dog, Frankie Machine were tops. And then they go and make a movie on Savages.
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