Saturday, December 17, 2011

Finished: "13 Million Dollar Pop" by David Levien

Finished: 13 Million Dollar Pop by David Levien, 2011, 9780385532532.

When I attended the Random House party at Bouchercon this past Autumn and sampled from the wonderful, wonderful open bar I spoke to David Levien and his pal, Some Tall Guy. Both Levien and Some Tall Guy were nice fellas and neither one told me to go suck eggs.

My conversation with Levien - also a screenwriter and movie maker - went something like this.
Levien: Ocean's Thirteen?
Me: Nope, never saw that one.
Levien: Rounders?
Me: Nope, never saw that one either.
Levien: Runaway Jury?
Me: Nope.
Levien: Walking Tall?
Me: Uh-uh.
Levien: Girlfriend Experience?
Me: No. [But I am fond of nudity in film.]
Levien: Knockaround Guys?
Me: I wanted to but didn't get to it. Is that the one in North Dakota?
Levien: Montana.
[I then went crazy on the free Dewar's.]

Anyway. This was a pretty decent novel. The third in Levien's Frank Behr series. Behr is a forty-something private eye in Indianapolis. Behr just took a job with a national PI firm called the Caro Group. Behr took the job for the steady paycheck since his younger girlfriend is pregnant. For years Behr worked for himself and he is chafing under the restrictions and instructions of the firm.

Behr fills in on a bodyguard job - really more of an Assistant With Gun job - for a local business guy. Murder attempt on business guy has Behr Glocking their way out of it. Behr is now loved at the firm but shut out of news about the murder attempt investigation. Behr does not like his job. Behr is bored. Behr is ornery. Behr starts digging into the attempt.

Business Guy is tabbed to fill in resigned Senator's slot the day after the attempt. Business Guy has a ties to a failed racino (horse racing and casino together) south of town. Levien simultaneously follows a Welshman who arranged the murder and the former business partner of Business Guy who is did the hitman hiring.

Behr digs. Behr gets too wrapped up in his work and does not communicate with girlfriend. Behr works out every morning. Behr tries to help cop and former Marine with War on Terror PTSD. Behr ignores his real job. Behr gets fired. Behr gets in fights during investigation. Behr keeps digging and talks to whores, does much surveillance from his car, talks to PTSD Cop.

Everything ends mostly happy after a nice gun fight and fist fight and some brutal murders by Welshman.

1. Welsh bad guy is thoroughly bad and villainous but he did not really grab me as a character.
2. CZ love. The 97 not the 75. Which, I just looked up, would probably run me about $650 OTD. I'm not really thinking about the RAMI anymore. The RAMI is not much smaller than my PCR.
3. Levien has plenty of MMA style fisticuffs.
4. Much local flavor.
5. Great line about whores in the morning but I don't have the book handy.
6. Written in many short chapters. Patterson length chapters.
7. Much mention of professional levels of skill and expertise in tradecraft. Levien did his research on all that stuff and it shows.
8. I would read Some Tall Guy's book but I cannot recall his dang name.
9. EDIT: Decker listens to a lot of metal music including Charred Walls of the Damned. No mention of nutsack lover Richard Christie.

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