Little Elvises (Junior Bender #2)
by Timothy Hallinan
Review by Steve Sawicki
Soho Crime Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9781616952778
Date: 29 January 2013 List Price $25.00 Amazon US / Amazon UK
Junior Bender is a burglar in Los Angeles. But he's not just any burglar. He's a burglar who also solves crimes...primarily for other criminals. Given the danger involved when working for criminals, who are just as likely to shoot you when you bring bad news as anything else, Junior's fees are rather high. This is mostly because Junior would really rather not be involved in that line of work to begin with. But, criminals being criminals, they often find ways to make Junior get on board.
This time Junior is tasked with figuring out how to make sure Vinicent DiGaudio is innocent of murder. DiGaqudio is famous for discovering and marketing a string of 1950s Elvis rip off pop sensations. As with many things in Los Angeles the truth is only the thin layer hiding the scum of the real truth. As Junior begins to investigate he ends up under the attention of Hollywood's most powerful crime lord. As the case begins to unravel Junior finds himself in more than a few awkward situations. Some involve his ex-wife and teenage daughter while others involve the widow of the man DiGaudio is suspected of killing.
Timothy Hallinan has created the perfect voice for wise-cracking Junior Bender and he lets that voice run throughout the book. This leads to a lot of very humorous dialogue and situations and it leads to keeping you glued to the pages as Junior tries to figure out what's going on. This is masterful writing and dialogue. Page turning stuff. Fun, interesting, engaging and more than a little poignant at times.
I can't recommend this book highly enough. If you like your mysteries laced with humor then you are going to love this series. This is the second book and a third is coming out soon. Hallinan's writing is brilliant, the story runs from incident to incident with Junior Bender and the other characters wise-cracking their way from beginning to end. The intelligent dialogue drives this book but the plot is also not to be ignored for the way Hallinan ties it all together. Go out and get your copy right now.