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Publisher's Summary

When Jake Bechet hears that two men have been murdered a few miles from where he lives in the Hamptons - their hands were cut off and then they were hung from the Shinnecock Bridge and left to strangle - he knows that trouble is coming.

It means that someone has betrayed the Castello crime family. Whether it's someone trying to move in on their drug operation or if it's the cops making their own statement, he doesn't know, but he wants to stay far away.

A year ago, Jake walked away from the Castellos with enough insurance information to hold over their heads and keep himself safe and went underground. He'd like to stay out of it. But he soon discovers that he can't. Jorge Castello himself forces Jake to find out who's behind the killings, claiming there's a traitor in the family. The last thing Jake wants to do is work for the Castellos again, but he knows he has to find a way to finish it somehow.

Between Jake and Tommy Miller, a retired P.I. whose ex-girlfriend has also gotten too close to the Castellos and whose father was one of their casualties a few years back, all the loose ends will be tied up - one way or another - before the end of 24 hours.

©2008 Daniel Judson; (P)2008 Brilliance Audio

Critic Reviews

"A searing, brooding look at the bleak side of the Hamptons. Judson keeps the reader off-kilter as he builds on his cast of morally compromised characters. An intense novel, fortified by authentic dialogue and a precise setting." (Florida Sun-Sentinel)
"Action packed. Loss and redemption rule in Shamus Award-winning Daniel Judson's third novel, set in Southampton nights so cold that they could cool off a reader sizzling in this summer's heat. It's noir on ice." (USA Today)

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Starts well, but then gets muddled and vague.

This book starts off quite well, with a grisly and vivid double hanging. Both the victims have had their hands hacked off. Us thriller lovers (I know, we...) certainly can get into a little grisly and vivid. The author creates a cast of characters, and for a while it suffices to get to know them, and to try to figure out what the heck is going on. The various plots then turn extremely vague and cliche-ish. Always with the rainy and foggy nights. Always with the waiting for the bad guy(s) to make a sound or start a gun battle. The plots then go off into quite a number of directions, and by about the middle of the book I gave up. Too many shady and mysterious pasts. Way too many people chasing each other and running away from each other for dark, vague, undisclosed reasons. It's hard to tell who the primary characters are by the middle of the book, and this is just not good writing. Christopher Lane is a perfectly good narrator, but the material he is given here is so mushy and soap-opera-ish that at some point you just cease to care about trying to solve all of these puzzles. A good writer draws his primary characters fairly quickly, so that you care about them and are curious to see what happens to them. Just a bunch of people skulking about in the atmospheric wintry weather does not a good novel make. Where are the editors these days? Maybe I'm getting spoiled by reading the masters of this craft: Martin Cruz Smith, Timothy Hallinan, Elmore Leonard, Robert B. Parker, Thomas Perry: these guys know how to write, how to grab you and make you hold on, start to accelerate the plot and then confuse you with a few red herrings...the great ones even lead you to a marvelous conclusion, rather than a list of tedious wrapping up of loose ends. Where can I find some more writers like these? Anyone?

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • L.
  • 08-04-11

Skilled storytelling, great narrator...

Lots of movement and suspense, well-drawn characters (including one really impressive 'weasel' character who reminded me a bit of Angel on the old Rockford Files), a good sense of place (the Hamptons, though -- just a detail -- a few locales do get mispronounced, like Jobs-jahbs instead of Jobs-jobes Lane in Southampton.) Considerable international intrigue also blends into what starts as a local mystery. A thoroughly enjoyable 'read', and I can definitely see why Christopher Lane has so many narration credits -- he's truly wonderful.