A gunman comes out of retirement to guard his former partner’s family.
Jimmy Quinn was a gunman, bootlegger, and bagman, running with mobsters the likes of Lucky Luciano, Meyer Lansky, and Vincent "Mad Dog" Coll, until a bullet in the leg and the murder of Arnold Rothstein ended his career. Quinn bought a speakeasy in downtown Manhattan and settled into a quiet retirement - until the day he learns that famous aviator Charles Lindbergh’s baby has been kidnapped, and his old friend and partner Walter Spencer wants a word.
Spence has left his criminal past behind, marrying into the Pennyweight family - of Pennyweight Petroleum - and settling into a legitimate lifestyle in rural New Jersey.
Now Spence has business out of state, and with the Lindbergh kidnapping weighing on his mind, he wants Quinn to stay in his home and protect his family. A few days guarding Spence’s beautiful wife should be easy work, but Quinn’s old business is about to catch up with him, and he quickly finds that the Garden State can be even more dangerous than the streets of New York City.
I enjoyed Mike Mayo's first detective novel, set against the backdrop of the Lindbergh kidnapping and U.S. prohibition era crime, very much. The world Mike creates is rich and textured and felt very real.
I first came to know Mike Mayo as a movie critic and his love of and expertise in movie history made this book particularly enjoyable. Mike's narrative and my imagination combined to create a world that was a softer sort of Dark City without The Strangers and I look forward to reading the other two novels in the series, either in audio format or in traditional paperback should it take a while for them to appear in audio format.
My biggest criticism would be the performance, which for the main character of Jimmy The Stick, I think the voice was fine most of the time but it was harder to distinguish other characters and at times the reading struck me as flat and uninteresting. Not a terrible performance but lacking inspiration.
If you are a person that can overlook an lackluster performance, and enjoy the mystery genre, there is much here to like and to look forward to.