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 o...
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 on which he has written the names of the crooks in the chain. When people associated with the chain begin to pop up dead, the only person Wattles can turn to to solve his problem is Junior Bender, professional burglar and begrudging private eye for crooks.
But Junior already knows exactly who took Wattles’s list: the signature is too obvious. It was Herbie Mott, Junior’s burglar mentor and second father—and when Junior seeks him out to discuss the missing list, he finds Herbie very unpleasantly murdered. Junior follows the links in the chain back toward the killer, and as he does, he learns disturbing things about Herbie’s hidden past. He has to ask himself how much of the life he’s lived for the past twenty years has been of his own making, and how much of it was actually Herbie’s game.
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“Everything I've come to expect in a Hallinan novel: indelible, complex characters, fantastic plot, and moments of hold-your-breath suspense. ”
“Bender's quick wit and smart mouth make him a boon companion on this oddball adventure. ”
—New York Times Book Review
“Could not stop laughing. Hallinan is sharp as a blade, has a wicked eye for human nature and keeps the reader guessing and rooting for Junior Bender all the way. ”
“Great narrative voice, complex plot, 3-D characters. Hallinan's deft comic tone and colorful characters have earned him comparisons to Donald Westlake and Carl Hiaasen. Check it out now. ”
“Hallinan’s greatest writing strength is his characters…people in Herbie’s Game are vivid, fascinating and memorable. They come alive for the reader. They breathe and talk and hurt. They move the story at a rapid pace that makes this book hard to put down. I read it through phone calls. I read it through supper. I read it until the last page was turned. Don’t miss Herbie’s Game.”
“With complex characters, spicy dialogue, clever plot devices and a liberal dose of humor—as is always the case with Hallinan—Herbie's Game is a fine read. ”
“The clown prince of crime fiction. ”
“It’s not easy to come up with a new premise for a crime story, but Timothy Hallinan has managed it. ”