King Maybe (Junior Bender, #5)
Junior Bender finds himself caught in a Hollywood revenge plot epic enough for the silver screen. 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 (Junior Bender, #5) Details

TitleKing Maybe (Junior Bender, #5)
Author
ReleaseApr 12th, 2016
PublisherSoho Crime
ISBN-139781616954338
Rating
GenreMystery, Fiction, Crime, Suspense, Humor, Thriller, Mystery Thriller, Audiobook

King Maybe (Junior Bender, #5) Review

  • Carl Brookins
    January 1, 1970
    A large, sprawling text. By turns, funny, intriguing, self-indulgent, long, meandering, plot-centric but character driven. The story is clever and overloaded with odd, interesting and often out-of control characters. As such, the book provides an interesting if skewed insider look at Hollywood and some of its more popular if lesser-known residents. First we have the principal driving force. Here, readers have a choice between Ronnie Bigelow, sexy, enigmatic, passionate, she of mysterious logica A large, sprawling text. By turns, funny, intriguing, self-indulgent, long, meandering, plot-centric but character driven. The story is clever and overloaded with odd, interesting and often out-of control characters. As such, the book provides an interesting if skewed insider look at Hollywood and some of its more popular if lesser-known residents. First we have the principal driving force. Here, readers have a choice between Ronnie Bigelow, sexy, enigmatic, passionate, she of mysterious logically criminal past, and Junior Bender a burglar of some reputation in Los Angeles. Junior is usually a contract thief, targeting homes and businesses for specific objects at the request of other criminals. Fine. The project becomes dangerous almost from the start when a meticulously timed foray dumps Junior into a tag team aimed at deleting him with the aid of baseball bats. Junior escapes with the help of the aforementioned Bigelow, ivy covered walls and a crotchety neighbor. But the adventure isn't over. A rollicking car chase involving one aging Toyota (Bender's) against a fleet of modern high-powered vehicles (the bad guy) rolls over the Hollywood hills, endangering, at least momentarily a high percentage of local and possibly innocent citizens. Suffice it to say, everything works out in the end after a number of additional violent confrontations, some intense interpersonal connection and a lot of words, sarcastic, funny and largely enjoyable.
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  • Kay
    January 1, 1970
    Timothy Hallinan is a master storyteller, and I particularly like his Junior Bender series. There are breathtakingly wonderful passages in this book, mostly insights into human emotions and the ways of the world. I love this series! By the way, the returning characters are unusual. I don't know how Tim dreams these creatures up, but they are spectacular.
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  • Yuki
    January 1, 1970
    A nice short mystery. Some facts about the title from the author:The first thing I had was the title, which came to me out of nowhere when I was jogging about two years ago. Just the two words, King Maybe, no meaning; what I liked about it was the combination of absolute power and absolute equivalency. It seemed to me that kings might say "yes" and "no" all day long, but there was something unkingly about maybe.3.2 stars.
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  • Carol Jean
    January 1, 1970
    Oh so luscious! Funny, clever, touching -- the whole nine lovely yards!
  • Ted Lehmann
    January 1, 1970
    Timothy Hallinan – King Maybe: Book ReviewHere's a challenge for you: Read the first two pages of King Maybe and try to stop. It simply can't be done with this absorbing comic thriller any more than it can with almost any other book in the two series Hallinan is currently writing. King Maybe (Soho Crime, 2016, 400 pages, $17.40/14.99) takes the reader into a caper in which every move made by Junior Bender, master thief and problem solver for those who can't or won't go to the police, sends him d Timothy Hallinan – King Maybe: Book ReviewHere's a challenge for you: Read the first two pages of King Maybe and try to stop. It simply can't be done with this absorbing comic thriller any more than it can with almost any other book in the two series Hallinan is currently writing. King Maybe (Soho Crime, 2016, 400 pages, $17.40/14.99) takes the reader into a caper in which every move made by Junior Bender, master thief and problem solver for those who can't or won't go to the police, sends him deeper into a hole from which it appears increasingly likely he may never be able to extricate himself. He finds himself put in a double bind by a major Hollywood mogul who requires him to steal a rare stamp from an impenetrable collection, pries too deeply into his current girl friend's background, and further estranges his ex-wife enough for her to bar him from contact with their daughter. He finds himself staying in the gummiest, least appetizing, most sticky fleabag motel in Los Angeles. How can he extricate himself? King Maybe is the fifth volume in Hallinan's Junior Barber series, written alternately with his equally engaging Poke Rafferty series, set in Bangkok, now in process going into its seventh volume. The joys of Hallinan's heroes lies in their imperfections. Junior Barber, now into his late thirties, divorced, the father of a precocious teenage daughter, and Hollywood's go-to burglar and problem solver for shady characters who must seek skilled help from outside the criminal justice system, has, throughout his career in crime, never been arrested for or convicted of any crime, despite being on the radar of the law. He has achieved sufficient success to own luxurious,secret getaway apartment in a building disguised as a dump. In public, he's practically untraceable, driving an old, white Toyota that's hardly noticeable, except for what's under the hood. Despite all these skills and his near invisibility, Junior seems to be always teetering on the edge of disaster, mostly because of his belief in his huge skills and stubborn insistence on his own infallibility, until.....The series is set in Los Angeles and uses a widely contrasting set of locales, from seedy urban wastelands inhabited by the losers in society's roulette wheel to the tasteless mansions of the greedy moguls who've succeeded to levels permitting them to live in princely luxury. Junior easily navigates amongst these strata, finding himself comfortable across them. Hallinan draws likable good guys, nasty bad guys, and believable women and children, characters the reader comes to either care for or abhor. One of his strengths lies in his ability to turn seemingly grotesque characters into objects of concern, while taking those that might be seen as admirable into monsters. His characters are never cardboard cutouts, but nuanced people shaped by their appetites and experiences. Meanwhile, Bender negotiates this world with comfort, too little sleep, and a nagging sense that he's somehow missing the ball. In King Maybe, Tim Hallinan has given his readers the best volume of this constantly improving series. The next volume of which will be a Christmas tale scheduled for release this coming Autumn. Meanwhile, he is currently at his second home in Bangkok working on the next Poke Rafferty thriller. After a long career in public relations, often related to film and television production, but not limited to it. His firm ended up representing a number of corporate clients working on film and television sets, advising them. This brought him into contact with an A-list of film stars and production people, and led to his writing scripts and later novels. This all led to his writing The Four Last Things, the first of his efforts in detective writing, the Simeon Grist series, now reissued as a boxed set containing the first four. The rest is history, as Hallinan has emerged as a highly popular, widely read, and frequently recognized major crime thriller writer. His work has been recognized as one of the Top 10 Books Based in Thailand, Crashed, a Junior Bender thriller, reached the top 100 of Kindle paid books this month. The most recent Junior Bender novel, Herbie's Game, won the Lefty Award for Best Humorous Crime Novel of 2015, and the Poke Rafferty Novel, The Hot Countries was named to several Best of 2015 lists, including Library Journal's and Strand Magazine's. As something of a pedant myself, I truly admire a writer who can show off his wide knowledge, copious research skills, vivid imagination, and wise-ass interior with such blazing dexterity. Tim Hallinan is the master of it all in current crime fiction. His eye, ear, voice for detail and penchant for literary allusion make him one of the most interesting of thriller writers. His dialogue is superb and descriptive passages crisp and clear. Perhaps his years in the film industry contributed to this. After recently abandoning a couple of plodding police and legal procedurals featuring endless exposition with little dialogue and less action, I find Hallinan's driving prose never fails to get my blood flowing and my heart beating faster. Timothy Hallinan's latest Junior Bender novel, King Maybe (Soho Crime, 2016, 400 pages, $17.40/14.99) is sure to please his readers as well as those new to the series. Unlike much series fiction, Hallinan's work never requires readers to begin at the beginning, although once they've been bitten by the works of this fine writer, they'll want to go back to read through the series. If he's not already there, this bravura performance by author Tim Hallinan should catapult him into the first rank of American crime writers. I received King Maybe from the publisher Soho Crime through Edelweiss: Above the Tree Line and read it on my Kindle app. If you decide to order this title, please click on one of the internal links in the review or go to my blog at www.tedlehmann.blogspot.com
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  • Jenna
    January 1, 1970
    Another good one.Like his daughter, her boyfriend and his “associates”.Also like his girlfriend Ronnie.
  • Lena
    January 1, 1970
    "It was inescapable that I was on the wrong side. I hate, hate, hate being on the wrong side. And if that sounds odd or unconvincing coming from a burglar . . . well, broaden your horizons." Junior Bender is back and finds himself facing off against the most powerful kind of evil being in Hollywood - the Blockbuster Producer, King Maybe. Hallinan writes Junior so tight into a corner I thought he was done for, I thought the next novel would be a jail break. It's Juniors ability to organize, we "It was inescapable that I was on the wrong side. I hate, hate, hate being on the wrong side. And if that sounds odd or unconvincing coming from a burglar . . . well, broaden your horizons." Junior Bender is back and finds himself facing off against the most powerful kind of evil being in Hollywood - the Blockbuster Producer, King Maybe. Hallinan writes Junior so tight into a corner I thought he was done for, I thought the next novel would be a jail break. It's Juniors ability to organize, well some would say use, other people to his advantage that makes the story enjoyable.Now for the many things I didn't like:- The longer burglary action sequences, that should have been thrilling, were written in such a way as I zoned out. I had to reread sections to figure out what the hell he was doing. Something about going back and forth from the character's emotions, back flashes, and actions did not smoothly translate. (view spoiler)[Whatever the hell went on with the elevator, ladder, rope, and elevated floor will forever remain a mystery to me. (hide spoiler)]- In the last book Junior goes on and on about how much he dislikes plausibles, con men, because of how they lie with every word. He thinks of them as the lowest form of crook. Meanwhile his girlfriend, Ronnie, does nothing but lie. I found her caginess endearing for one, maybe two, books but not anymore, and neither does Junior. He wants answers as to her obvious criminal past, or any of her past. Through feminine trickery she turns it around on Junior, she doesn't trust him! He must grovel. It made me think less of them both.- The secondary story was unspeakably lame. Rina, Junior's daughter, turns out to be an uber popular virgin queen who rules the school. Gossip about her hot black boyfriend holding hands with another girl has her completely losing her shit. This was my least favorite Junior Bender book. It had some moments, and I'm crossing my fingers for Ronnie's death, so I will read the next book. 2.5 stars rounded up because of previous novels.
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  • Mike Zinn
    January 1, 1970
    What a great read! The further I got the more I liked it. I have read one previous Junior Bender novel, but it didn't grab me quite like this one. I found the concept of a Hollywood burglar surrounded by a cast of quirky criminals and associates like Anime and Lilli to be irresistible. I don't want to say much more except this was one of the most fun reads I've had in a long time.
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  • Steve
    January 1, 1970
    Hallinan can't seem to write a straightforward burglary story, and that's a good thing. Junior Bender ricochets from one disaster to another, but along the way, he interacts with some fascinating characters. These really are must-read books.
  • Daniel
    January 1, 1970
    This review originally published in Looking For a Good Book. Rated 2.5 of 5I've only read one other "Junior Bender Mystery" (see my review of Fields Where They Lay) and to be honest, both times I had requested the book from the publisher based on descriptions of the story - I was not aware that either was a part of an ongoing series.Junior Bender is a criminal. He is a professional burglar and he's pretty good at his job. As this book begins, Junior is in the process of stealing a very rare stam This review originally published in Looking For a Good Book. Rated 2.5 of 5I've only read one other "Junior Bender Mystery" (see my review of Fields Where They Lay) and to be honest, both times I had requested the book from the publisher based on descriptions of the story - I was not aware that either was a part of an ongoing series.Junior Bender is a criminal. He is a professional burglar and he's pretty good at his job. As this book begins, Junior is in the process of stealing a very rare stamp from a well-fortified residence. Such burglaries are always highly risky, but this one seems to have an additional complication... the residence belongs to a professional killer. That fact alone would rattle the nerves of most, but Bender is a professional - he doesn't get too worried about it. Until the owner returns home with the express intent to kill the burglar currently in his home. So begins a frantic tale of crime, blackmail, and murderous intent.The idea of a burglar leading a crime/mystery series is wonderful. I don't know the mystery genre well enough, but I suspect this isn't the first such character device.One of the things I really like about Junior Bender is how 'down-to-earth' and 'real' he is. Author Timothy Hallinan creates a character that could very easily be the guy next door - a criminal, sure, but what do you really know about the guy next door anyway? And the plotting is really nice. The story is involved. It is deep and earnest and as with any good dramatic story, there's plenty of conflict - simply staying alive is great motivational conflict.And yet.... Everything here seems like such a great fit and yet I never really bought in. I don't really care about my next door neighbor beyond a "hello, how are you, your yard is looking good" and I don't really care about Junior Bender. I think it has a lot to do with his profession. He's chosen to be among the criminal element and that comes with some inherent risks.Still, I'm sure there have been literary characters that I've liked and cared about despite their past or profession, so it is something deeper. There's a lack of connection between me and this character. I read his story from a distance instead of being pulled into the story and a story from a distance just doesn't have the same excitement.Looking for a good book? King Maybe by Timothy Hallinan is a Junior Bender Mystery adventure that includes a well-defined character and strong story but you read it as a distant observer.I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Netgalley,in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Mal Warwick
    January 1, 1970
    Junior Bender is the most ethical burglar you'll ever meet (assuming you ever meet burglars). You're just as likely to find him declining to steal something he knows the owner truly loves, because he really doesn't want to hurt anybody. Mostly he steals from other criminals.Junior operates in Los Angeles in a comic universe populated by such characters as Stinky Tetweiler, "the San Fernando Valley's top premium-swag fence," and Louie the Lost, an erstwhile getaway driver who once went the wrong Junior Bender is the most ethical burglar you'll ever meet (assuming you ever meet burglars). You're just as likely to find him declining to steal something he knows the owner truly loves, because he really doesn't want to hurt anybody. Mostly he steals from other criminals.Junior operates in Los Angeles in a comic universe populated by such characters as Stinky Tetweiler, "the San Fernando Valley's top premium-swag fence," and Louie the Lost, an erstwhile getaway driver who once went the wrong direction following a heist and now makes his way through life as a source of sensitive information of special interest to crooks. Louie's the guy who asserts that "Kings . . . are just crooks with better hats."King Maybe, a character at the center of the story in Hallinan's novel of the same name, is "the most powerful man in Hollywood." He's a producer with options on every worthwhile project in sight, and he sits on them to keep everyone else in suspense. He's also a thoroughly rotten SOB. Junior is forced to deal with King Maybe as a way to avoid being killed by several hitmen, most of whom appear to be pursuing him because he has stolen a postage stamp worth a quarter-million dollars from their boss, who is himself a hitman. (No, that doesn't make sense to me, either.)There's no point summing up the plot of King Maybe. It's a cockamamie story, of course. But it's very, very funny.Timothy Hallinan, author of the Junior Bender series, has an unsurpassed way with words. Here he is describing Junior's one-night accommodations in flight from a hitman: ". . .the Dew Drop Inn was a dump, worthy of three stars in The Masochist's Guide to Sleepless Nights. The carpet, which had apparently been shampooed with petroleum jelly, made an alarming little blown-kiss sound every time I lifted my shoe. The wallpaper was in the midst of a long and acrimonious divorce with the walls; it had developed big, unsettling blisters, as though something gelatinous, something straight out of H. P. Lovecraft, were trying to bloom its way through." And here he is commenting on a neighborhood where the Dew Drop Inn would never have been built: "We were in a neighborhood where even the weeds were expensive."Timothy Hallinan has written nineteen novels to date. King Maybe is the fifth of the six novels in his Junior Bender series. In two other series, he features an L.A. private eye (Simeon Grist) and a travel writer living in Bangkok (Poke Rafferty), where Hallinan spends half of each year.
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  • Bruce Morgan
    January 1, 1970
    The premise that a master thief makes a good "detective for underworld figures" is wonderfully realised in this series.Junior Bender is a fully-formed character with confidence in his abilities and a way of staying alive while getting involved with some really strange and nasty types including con artists, snitches, standover men, hitmen (and women), bodyguards, bosses and big bosses while also staying one step ahead of the police.Timothy Hallinan is a consummate story teller. He lets us glimpse The premise that a master thief makes a good "detective for underworld figures" is wonderfully realised in this series.Junior Bender is a fully-formed character with confidence in his abilities and a way of staying alive while getting involved with some really strange and nasty types including con artists, snitches, standover men, hitmen (and women), bodyguards, bosses and big bosses while also staying one step ahead of the police.Timothy Hallinan is a consummate story teller. He lets us glimpse parts of Junior's character that Junior himself seems unaware of, while deftly concealing elements so that the reader is kept guessing until the final chapter.Highly recommended!
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  • Spuddie
    January 1, 1970
    I finally have to admit defeat with this series. I'm several books behind, mostly because I find I just don't enjoy them but have struggled on because I love the author's other series. I don't like Junior Bender (the main character) and while that in and of itself wouldn't be a detriment to reading the series--I do have some series where the main character is a jerk but don't have a problem carrying on--something just makes this a slog for me to read. I know there is supposed to be humor there, I finally have to admit defeat with this series. I'm several books behind, mostly because I find I just don't enjoy them but have struggled on because I love the author's other series. I don't like Junior Bender (the main character) and while that in and of itself wouldn't be a detriment to reading the series--I do have some series where the main character is a jerk but don't have a problem carrying on--something just makes this a slog for me to read. I know there is supposed to be humor there, I find it to be forced and...well, just not that funny. By the end of this book I was overtly antagonistic about it so I've decided to just end my reading of the series here.
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  • Robert Scott
    January 1, 1970
    ++Junior Bender, a combination burglar and private detective is involved in a series of complicated failures until he finds himself trapped by he employer in a highly compromising situation. While trying to find a way to foil this, he is also involved with trying to save his teenage daughter's love for a boy he approves of and rescue his own personal relations. Lots of suspense, lots of backstabbing, and an end that is unexpected? expected?++ Wasn't quite up to the caliber of the Poke Rafferty n ++Junior Bender, a combination burglar and private detective is involved in a series of complicated failures until he finds himself trapped by he employer in a highly compromising situation. While trying to find a way to foil this, he is also involved with trying to save his teenage daughter's love for a boy he approves of and rescue his own personal relations. Lots of suspense, lots of backstabbing, and an end that is unexpected? expected?++ Wasn't quite up to the caliber of the Poke Rafferty novels.
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  • Jennifer Taw
    January 1, 1970
    Geez, I love these wise-cracking, self-aware, tongue-in-cheek tough guy books. This Junior Bender doesn't disappoint - I chuckled my way through my commute, thoroughly enjoying almost every minute. There is a dark story in here, and a sad one. Tension is built and maintained. And there are also some genius bits (look for everything to do with the artist, not to mention the ongoing awesomeness of Junior's penchant for tacky motels and his hideaway home). The relationship stuff in here is nicely d Geez, I love these wise-cracking, self-aware, tongue-in-cheek tough guy books. This Junior Bender doesn't disappoint - I chuckled my way through my commute, thoroughly enjoying almost every minute. There is a dark story in here, and a sad one. Tension is built and maintained. And there are also some genius bits (look for everything to do with the artist, not to mention the ongoing awesomeness of Junior's penchant for tacky motels and his hideaway home). The relationship stuff in here is nicely done, too. Thanks for another fun read, Timothy Hallinan.
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  • Mandy
    January 1, 1970
    This one was absolutely full of pithy insight, thoughtful quotes and holy shit moments. The core conflict was not the best I've seen in the series, but the job was white knuckle all the way. I absolutely love Hallinan's writing style and Junior's voice. The supporting characters are always interesting in a noir sort of fashion, and even the lesser books in this series are like a wild night with new friends. Once again, must ration the remaining books in the series, so as not to binge and then re This one was absolutely full of pithy insight, thoughtful quotes and holy shit moments. The core conflict was not the best I've seen in the series, but the job was white knuckle all the way. I absolutely love Hallinan's writing style and Junior's voice. The supporting characters are always interesting in a noir sort of fashion, and even the lesser books in this series are like a wild night with new friends. Once again, must ration the remaining books in the series, so as not to binge and then regret that there are no further goodies.
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  • somanysusans
    January 1, 1970
    This was my first Junior Bender. I was expecting a burglary caper; I got that and more. Surprisingly literary; there are lines that will stay with me. "I ran through a quick mental survey of the very rich through history as the chocolate found its way into my system, and except for supporting artists and the occasional public library system, it seemed to me that they didn't amount to much more than a modest hill of toxic mold."I will have to read more of the series for other Junior insights.
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  • Jim Kelsh
    January 1, 1970
    Timothy Hallinan's Junior Bender series never fails. Junior Bender, Hollywood's most well known burglar and designated killing victim is back with three count 'em three burglaries all connected. ALl the while he dodges hit men with his name on their lists.Hallinan an populates his stories with a rich mix of Hollywood history, cultural allusions, and great capers.These books are just great...Four and a half Jimmys out of Five
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  • Steve Black
    January 1, 1970
    I never give 5* reviews, but this came close. Thoroughly enjoyable read, yes some characters are almost caricatures but so what. I love this series and have been trying to ration myself so I don't get through it too quickly, but not sure I can resist going straight into the next, and currently last, one.
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  • Brigitte
    January 1, 1970
    This is the first time I have read this author's book and obviously didn't start with #1 in this series, but still enjoyed it. It was mildly amusing with several quirky characters. The tension was palpable in descriptions of the main character's efforts as a burglar to get out of the building before being caught. Satisfying conclusion.
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  • Josh
    January 1, 1970
    I’d say 3.5 stars. Dragged in the middle but worth it in the end. A hard series to step in and out of because so much of the past actions in the series are alluded to in this one; and much of their import was lost on me as it had been awhile. But greet characters all the same.
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  • Joseph C. Cohen, Jr.
    January 1, 1970
    Really smart stuffHallinan does it all: great plot, superb, diverse characters, sensitivity for myriad current issues presented clearly from more than viewpoint. Thoroughly intriguing, informative entertainment.
  • JDK1962
    January 1, 1970
    Another good entry. I had a quibble here and there (especially at the level of convolution required to get all the pieces in play), but the final break-in in particular was great, and there was a very moving scene toward the end in the Angeles forest.
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  • Phil Judd
    January 1, 1970
    First 100 pages were spectacular. Became overblown and the plot stretchedendlessly, by the end I had almost totally lost interest. More concise plot adherance and abbreviated character drivle would make for better reading.
  • Tom
    January 1, 1970
    Complications, complications. Junior's life keeps getting more complicated. Fortunately for him, he has a lot of entertaining friends and enemies.
  • Stan
    January 1, 1970
    Again Hallinan and Junior give us a fun read with a perfect mix of engaging characters, action, pathos, humor, insight, and the usual complex web of entanglements. Sorry to see there isn't a #6 yet!
  • Karen
    January 1, 1970
    Witty, convoluted, and long-winded at times. And yet, I enjoy the adventures of the thief Junior Bender in LA and his sense of justice!
  • Steven Womack
    January 1, 1970
    Love Junior Bender! Now on to Poke Rafterty!
  • Steven Werber
    January 1, 1970
    These books are smart and clever. Who can ask for more?
  • Nicole Jamison
    January 1, 1970
    Not my favorite in this series. I found my brain drifting off during two of the burglary scenes.
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