Tuesday, April 5, 2016

King Maybe- Timothy Hallinan

King Maybe (A Junior Bender Mystery)- Timothy Hallinan
Soho Crime
Publication Date: April 12, 2016

Synopsis: Los Angeles’s most talented burglar, Junior Bender, is in the middle of stealing one of the world’s rarest stamps from a professional killer when his luck suddenly turns sour. It takes an unexpected assist to get him out alive, but his escape sets off a chain reaction of blackmail, strong-arming, and escalating crime. By the time Junior is forced to commit his third burglary of the week—in the impregnable fortress that’s home to the ruthless studio mogul called King Maybe—he’s beginning to wish he’d just let the killer take a crack at him.

King Maybe is my introduction to Timothy Hallinan. Written in a fast paced style that reminds me of Janet Evanovich, it's a fun mystery where the crook is the hero of the story.  Junior Bender (yes, that's his real name) is a talented burglar with great sense of humor, snark, and sarcasm, who spends most of this book not listening to his instincts.  Of course, it would be a much shorter book if he did.  

Things start out with Junior almost getting caught during the theft of a valuable stamp from a professional killer and his day goes downhill from there. He's probably Los Angeles' only thief/unofficial private eye and the kind of decent guy who finds himself constantly dragged into helping people who are only vaguely friends- when they aren't trying to kill him.  In King Maybe he winds up trying to help a "friend" threatening to kill him, then gets forced into a third burglary within the space of four days.  But when the person who hires him for the last burglary is also the person he's supposed to be robbing, and a sociopathic movie mogul, what could possibly go wrong?

King Maybe has a complex number of heists, characters on a sliding criminal scale, and story lines that sort themselves into a brilliant ending where almost everyone gets what they deserve. The only disappointing thing about this book was that- although teased- we never find out what Junior calls his car.

An overall fun book for mystery lovers and a good introduction for those of us who haven't read Hallinan's previous books.  Luckily, there are quite a few to catch up on while waiting for his next book.    

I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley for an honest review.

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