Tuesday, May 24, 2016

King Maybe - Timothy Hallinan

My review of Tim Hallinan's King Maybe first appeared as a starred review in Shelf Awareness for Readers. I am posting it today with their permission. Hope you enjoy.

First line: "Bad luck, as my mentor and surrogate father, Herbie Mott, used to say, arrives on the wind."

In the fifth book of Timothy Hallinan's caper series, Junior Bender is having a run of bad luck. "If--as some ironic people used to say as they flashed air quotes--life was a box of chocolates, someone had sat on the box." First, the Los Angeles burglar finds himself trapped during a burglary by two goons determined to ensure he doesn't make it out of the house alive. Some fancy footwork and quick thinking help him evade the goons but not the hot water.

Hollywood has-been producer Jake Whelan harbors a beef with Junior. In order to set things straight, he demands Junior break into the office of King Maybe, the studio exec who makes or breaks people in Tinseltown. But when the seemingly easy job is turned on its head, King Maybe might just break Junior.

To top it all off, Junior's daughter has boy trouble and he's on the outs with his girlfriend, Ronnie. Part burglar, part cupid, Junior will have to up his game if he has any hope of making it through the week alive.

Timothy Hallinan is an incredibly gifted writer with a knack for blending vivid settings, exciting plots, dynamic characters and clever humor to create captivatingly complex stories. King Maybe exemplifies all of this. From his sensory-stimulating description of a low-rent hotel room to the insightful development of Junior and Ronnie's relationship, Hallinan's writing is so distinctive and refreshingly original, it would probably be fitting to crown him the caper king.

King Maybe is available in hardcover (ISBN: 9781616954321) from SoHo Crime and as an unabridged audiobook (ISBN: 9781504616669), narrated by the wonderful Peter Berkrot from Blackstone Audio.

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