Author(s): Thomas PerryDownload
The much-loved comic thriller by the author of the Edgar Award-winning The Butcher’s Boy is now, by popular demand, back in print, featuring a new Introduction by bestselling author Carl Hiaasen.When Leroy “Chinese” Gordon breaks into a professor’s lab at the University of Los Angeles, he’s after some pharmaceutical cocaine, worth plenty of money. Instead, he finds the papers the professor has compiled for the CIA, which include a blueprint for throwing a large city into chaos. But how is the CIA to be persuaded to pay a suitable ransom, unless of course someone actually uses the plan to throw a large city into chaos—Los Angeles, for instance? Assigned to cope with the crisis and restore the peace, veteran agent Ben Porterfield steps onto the scene to remind us that the CIA’s middle name is, after all, Intelligence. Enlivening the mix are Gordon’s beautiful girlfriend, Margaret, his temperamental cat, Dr. Henry Metzger, and Metzger’s friend, an enormous half-wild dog with huge teeth.
Some Reviews: 201 in Goodreads.com
This story was basically a complicated caper tale. Its a wandering plot with unique characters that are written with a good bit of tongue-in-cheek and a dash of whimsey…maybe more than a dash.
It involves the CIA as the warehouse of most of the goofs that lend more than a little crazy maleficence to the whimsey and a band of very off-center and weird “mercenaries” that hatch a plot to threaten to use some of the CIA’s work against them for the purposes of being paid not to do it. Ultimately, due to the ineptitude of the top CIA execs, the threat has to be used once to convince them they are willing to do it.
Its great fund and quite a romp and the dog in question is quite a character….but no more so than Metzger.
I am a great fan of Thomas Perry’s Jane Whitefield series. This is not one of those books. Another member of my book club has encouraged me to read non-Jane books. This book has been around since 1983, so I picked it up. I am glad that I did. It is very funny, reminding me of Elmore Leonard and Donald Westlake’s Dortmunder books. Life can be as strange and as frustrating as the events in this little criminal against CIA against criminal against governmental flunky story show. It doesn’t hurt that two characters in the story aren’t even human. Several big belly laughs are tucked inbetween all sorts of criminal behavior and they will surprise you.
This is one of my favourite books of all time. A brilliant mix of qwerky blackmailers and bungling intelligence officers. I’m reading it for the third time and my main thought is, “Why hasn’t anyone picked this up to make the film??” It would be a howler of a comedy. The car “rallye” trap, the freeway mess in LA, even the cat and dog are hilarious. This is a movie I’d love to see, and I bet major stars would be trampling over each other to work in it. I can see George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Joe Pesci (as Kepler), Julia Roberts, even minor characters in this are hilarious. Get with it Hollywood!!
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