The halls are decked, the deck is stacked, and here comes that jolly old elf. Junior Bender, divorced father of one and burglar extraordinaire, finds himself stuck inside the Edgerton Mall, and not just as a last-minute shopper (though he is that too). Edgerton isn't exactly the epicenter of holiday cheer, despite its two Santas, canned Christmas music, chintzy bows, and festive lights. The mall is a fossil of an industry in decline; many of its stores are closed, and to make matters worse, there is a rampant shoplifting problem.
"Hallinan and Berkrot are a dream team"
Los Angeles burglar Junior Bender is in the middle of burgling a house and has just gotten his hands on one of the world's rarest stamps when the job goes terrifically wrong. After barely escaping, Junior realizes the danger is far from over. He's gotten himself on the wrong side of a man whose name is synonymous with violence, and to save his own skin he's set off a chain reaction of blackmail, strong-arming, and escalating crime.
"A likable burglar? An unlikely premise."
Simeon Grist knows LA inside and out - the sex for sale, the chic seductions, every rip-off from City Hall to Venice. So when he's hired by a Hollywood recording company to shadow one Sally Oldfield, suspected of embezzlement, Grist discovers she's entangled in the Church of the Eternal Moment - a million-dollar religious scam built around a 12-year-old channeler and the voice of a man who has been dead for a millennium.
The author of the Looking for Trouble travel book series, Poke Rafferty is ready to settle down in Bangkok with his fiance, Rose, and his newly adopted daughter, Miaow. But trouble isn't ready to let him go; it's back in Poke's life with a vengeance, in the guise of his long-estranged father, Frank, the last person he ever wanted to see again. And Frank hasn't come empty-handed, arriving with a box of rubies, a wad of fraudulent identity papers, and one of the most dangerous gangsters in China in hot pursuit.
Poke Rafferty was writing offbeat travel guides for the young and terminally bored when Bangkok stole his heart. Now the American expat is assembling a new family with Rose, the former go-go dancer he wants to marry, and Miaow, the tiny, streetwise urchin he wants to adopt. But trouble in the guise of good intentions comes calling just when everything is beginning to work out.
"Great character, great narrator"
American travel writer Poke Rafferty has seen - and survived - some of the worst Bangkok has to offer. But now, finally married to his longtime love, Rose, and raising the young daughter, Miaow, they adopted from the streets, Poke believes his life is stable at last. Then a nightmare figure from Rose's time as a Patpong dancer barges into their world, threatening their peace, their love, their home, their lives.
"The best thriller writer you have never heard of."
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.
"Sympathetic thief. Fun read. Exemplary narration."
It's everyday business when Wattles, the San Fernando Valley's top "executive crook", sets up a hit. He establishes a chain of criminals to pass along the instructions and the money, thereby ensuring that the hitter doesn't know who hired him. Then one day Wattles finds his office safe open and a single item missing: the piece of paper listing the crooks in the chain. When people associated with the chain begin to pop up dead, the only person Wattles can turn to for help is Junior Bender, professional burglar and begrudging private eye for crooks.
"A serious misstep from one of my faves."
Junior Bender is back to untangle one of the weirdest mysteries in Tinseltown. LA burglar Junior Bender has, unfortunately, developed a reputation as a competent private investigator for crooks. The unfortunate part about this is that, regardless of whether he solves the crime or not, someone dangerous is going to be unhappy with him - either his suspect or his employer. Now Junior is being bullied into proving aging music-industry mogul Vinnie DiGaudio is innocent of the murder of a nasty tabloid journalist he'd threatened to kill a couple times.
"Perfect Audio "Page Turner""
Edgar and Macavity Award-nominated author Timothy Hallinan throws his erudite Los Angeles private eye into the middle of a global human-trafficking operation in this fifth book in the series. Simeon Grist does a favor for the family of his sometimes-girlfriend, Eleanor Chan, and goes looking for two children who vanished in Chinatown. He quickly learns that he's gone straight through the looking glass and into a world where grieving parents are afraid to contact the police, where fear is the teacher and power is the law.
There are not many people brave enough to say no to Irwin Dressler, Hollywood’s scariest mob boss turned movie king. Even though Dressler is 93 years old, LA burglar Junior Bender is quaking in his boots when Dressler’s henchmen haul him in for a meeting. Dressler wants Junior to solve a crime he believes was committed more than 70 years ago, when an old friend of his, once-famous starlet Dolores La Marr, had her career destroyed after compromising photos were taken of her at a Las Vegas party. Dressler wants justice for Dolores and the shining career she never had.
Simeon Grist takes a case that leads him to the phantom neighborhoods of Los Angeles' lost children. Missing 13-year-old Aimee Sorrell ran all the way from Kansas to be a star. But Aimee's trail soon leads Simeon to the city morgue, the first stop on a perilous journey to find out what happens to America's lost children when they go looking for love in all the wrong places.
A late-night poker game in Bangkok nets American ex-pat writer Poke Rafferty the "opportunity" to write the biography of Khun Pan, a flamboyant, vulgar, self-made billionaire with a criminal past and far-reaching political ambitions. Within hours, Rafferty, his wife, Rose, their adopted daughter, Miaow, and Poke's best friend, honest Bangkok cop Arthit, have become disposable pawns in a brutal power struggle among some of Thailand's richest, most ruthless citizens.
"Thai mystery will take your breath away"
Back when Poke Rafferty first arrived in Bangkok to write a travel guide, some of the old-timers in the Expat Bar on Patpong Road helped him make sense of the city. Now these men - many of whom have been living in Southeast Asia since the Vietnam War - have grown old and, in some cases, frail. When a talkative stranger named Arthur Varney turns up, they accept him without suspicion, failing to see that he's actually using them to get to Poke.
"The lukewarm countries"
For a fee so big he can't turn it down, Simeon Grist is hired to watchdog the kind of guy he'd usually prefer to throw through the nearest window. Toby Vane is the golden boy of prime-time television, whose gee-whiz smile and chiseled features mask a dark secret that would take the shine off for his millions of adoring female fans: every now and then he beats up a woman, and almost any woman will do.
"Good performance of a slightly above average book"
In Bangkok, Thailand, an American travel journalist and his Thai family find themselves inadvertently entangled in a web of dirty cops and far-reaching corruption when their daughter’s ill-gotten cell phone displays photographs of some very crooked cops, all of them thoroughly dead.
"This is Tim Hallinan's world. We just live in it."
An accidental collision on a Bangkok sidewalk goes very wrong when the man who ran into Rafferty dies in his arms, but not before saying three words: "Helen Eckersley. Cheyenne." Seconds later, the police arrive, denying that the man was shot. That night, Rafferty is interrogated by Thai secret agents who demand to know what the dead man said, but Rafferty can't remember. When he's finally released, Rafferty arrives home to find that his apartment has been ransacked. He realizes he's under surveillance.
"Hallinan is a writer at the very peak of his power"
Simeon Grist is about to face off against his most terrifying adversary - a madman who's setting fire to the homeless. As Simeon is drawn into the case, very much against his will, he realizes that the "Incinerator" has a huge advantage. Somewhere, years ago, the two of them met, and the Incinerator has been nursing hatred and resentment for years. Now, as helpless people burst into flame on Skid Row, Simeon has to scour the wastelands of Los Angeles, and his own past, looking for the face of a killer.
Edgar and Macavity Award nominee Timothy Hallinan's Simeon Grist private-eye novels have become cult favorites. This sixth series installment takes place in the West Hollywood of 1995, where the community is shaken by the brutal killing of an older man who was widely loved for his generosity and kindness. In a time when the police were largely indifferent to crimes against gay people, Simeon is hired to catch the murderer - and finds himself up against the most dangerous adversary of his career.