Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Steal the Show-Thomas Kaufman

Steal the Show
Thomas Kaufman
Minotaur, Jul 5 2011, $24.99
ISBN: 9780312546328

Rush Gemelli asks D.C private investigator Willis Gidney to break into a warehouse in Alexandria. Gidney refuses, but changes his mind as business has been poor lately and he needs money to adopt the two-year-old abandoned girl Sarah he rescued from a fire. Gemelli believes Gidney will find film piracy inside the warehouse.

Just as he was told, Gidney finds an operation burning DVDs. Two Asian gunmen see him, but Gidney escapes. Gemelli blackmails the sleuth to assist his father Chuck, a former White House aide who is the Motion Picture Alliance Council chief lobbyist. Already feeling like a sucker, things turn worse for Gidney when Chuck’s former partner is murdered with him as the fall guy while gangs want him dead.

This terrific private investigative tale uses Sarah to lighten Gidney’s edge yet also makes the case that a hard-boiled single sleuth is not quite what social worker Walters has in mind for the toddler. Fans will enjoy Gidney’s efforts to extract himself from the mess he has nose dived into (with talc all over him) as Thomas Kaufman provides an engaging DC noir (see Drink the Tea).

Harriet Klausner

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