An aging but formidable strip-club owner, Claudiu "Manco" Kapak, has been robbed by a masked gunman as he placed his cash receipts in a bank's night-deposit box. Enraged, he sends his half-dozen security men out to find a suspect who is spending lots of cash and is new enough to Los Angeles not to know he was robbing a gangster.
Their search leads them to Joe Carver, an innocent but hardly defenseless newcomer who evades capture and sets out to make Kapak wish he'd chosen someone else.
Meanwhile, the real culprit, Jefferson Davis Falkins, and his new girlfriend, Carrie, seem to believe they've found a whole new profession: robbing Manco Kapak. Lieutenant Nick Slosser, the police detective in charge of the puzzling and increasingly violent case, has his own troubles, including worries about how he's going to afford to send the oldest child of each of his two bigamous marriages to college without making their mothers suspicious.
As this odd series of difficulties explodes into a triple killing, Carver finds himself in the middle of a brewing gang war over Kapak's little empire, while Falkins and Carrie journey into territory more strange and violent than either had imagined.
©2010 Thomas Perry (P)2010 Tantor
“Perry's exquisite timing and finesse provide near perfect endings to the multiple story lines and make this escapist reading at its best.” (Publishers Weekly)
Love Thomas Perry, with the exception of his books devoted to the woman who hides people. Those are sappy with too sharp a divide between good and evil. Strip is fabulous: fast plot, smart and not overly gruesome. Michael Kramer is one of the best readers out there.
I am a fan of Thomas Perry, and this book caught me off guard. I've let it set a couple of weeks before I write the review, and decided it is better than I thought.
Unlike his other books, there is no character I like-no one I rooted for-like the 'hit man' who is really a sympathetic soul forced to kill anyone who stands in his way! This book, on the other hand, is loaded with unlikeable characters. I didn't care what happened to any of them in this convoluted plot.
However, when Strip wrapped up, I took notice.
Michael Kramer is superb and voices all characters, male and female, distinctly and believably.
Get to the end. You'll see what I mean.
It contains a truly interesting cast of characters, and a good, twisty storyline.
There were only two things that detracted for me.
I'd become very intrigued about a character, and it would take such a long time for the narrative to circle back to that person. I'd start to wonder, "But what about... ?" Eventually it would get there and satisfy my curiosity, but during that wondering time, it made me less interested in the current chapter.
Also, and this is just personal preference, I think this type of story might have benefited from a little more dark or wry humor than was offered. I think it would have been in character for many of the more interesting people... Spence, Joe Carver, Manko Kapak. It was all played pretty straight.
The intricate storylines were wrapped up to satisfying and not entirely expected conclusions. A good read.
This novel presents a tableau of rather unique individuals not given enough attention by Perry to read true. A bigamist detective whose story falls flat. An Elmore Leonard type protagonist in witness protection who really should have been center stage, rather than an aging low-level gangster and strip-club owner. There's a sexy clubber cum homicidal gun moll, and the usual 2-dimensional thugs, thieves, and bodyguards from central casting. The worst part of listening to this novel, however, was the dialogue: pointless, rambling, and tedious, like a parody of a George Higgins novel. Are there no editors? Are there no fact checkers? Readers in L.A, have you ever heard of Sepul-VEE-da Boulevard? Or La Cien-AGA? Yet again I wonder about all the 5-star reviews for a very mediocre novel.
Perry + Kramer = ideal combo. Really fun book - OK, the underlying story sounds violent - but It's just not that kind of book. There is a distance in the telling that allows you to care, but you're not sure about who. Nobody is a really "good hero" but everyone is human and tries hard and it all works. Highly recommended.
I thought the book started off a bit "iffy", but soon found it good. I had a lot going on while trying to listen to this book, so I may not have given it enough credit. Will definitely check out more books by this author.
Fast paced and good character develeopment
Spence, spence and more spence. I love him.
Spence, the mild southern accent is just soo... ooooohhh
Err not really.
The story was good, the characters were interesting, the drama and twists held my attention and kept the story exciting. I look forward to another Perry novel as I was nearing the end.
I cannot think of any at this moment but will consider Thomas Perry among my usual authors.
He is a great narrator, I will listen to more books he narrates. He gave just enough voice clues throughout without trying to change his voice too much.
The whole book was good, I suppose some of the twists were moving moments but the chuckles from the action were most memorable.
They should research how locals pronounce street names. Sepulveda Boulevard was mispronounced and at one point it was called street versus boulevard. This did not take from the story, but when a story takes place in an existing city versus some imagined place, why not make it as good as you can.
Retired Political Science professor from a community college. Especially like Legal Thrillers.
This is my first Thomas Perry book. I especially enjoyed the ending, although I wasn't sure where the story was headed till we got there. I agree with the reviewer who said that there were times he didn't know which character to pull for. Occasionally I had to remind myself what I already knew about a character. Look forward to another book by TP.
I like the plot twists, it was the perfect read for a rainy afternoon or day at the beach. Violence as part of the scene but not too graphic or blown out. I would have given a higher performance rating but he mispronounced Sepulveda and La Cienega, both well known L.A. locals.
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