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Feelers Hardcover – March 3, 2009


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Officially, Morty Martinez cleans out the houses of dead people in this highly amusing mystery from Lefty Award–winner Wiprud (Pipsqueak). Actually, as Morty explains in his charming if egotistical voice, he's a feeler who searches for the money that senior citizens tend to stash around their homes. Morty's overjoyed to find $800,000 on one job in Brooklyn, until the discovery attracts the covetous attention of other feelers and a greedy ex-cop who believes the cash is part of the hidden loot from an armored car heist. Meanwhile, one of the armored car robbers comes looking for the money after being released from prison, where he became a hair-trigger killer with an ice pick. Challenged to stay alive while hanging onto his prize, Morty prepares for a luxurious retirement in Mexico, where he looks forward to a new career as a Latin lover. That readers know Morty survives his various travails doesn't lessen the suspense as he faces one catastrophe after another. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Morty Martinez is a “feeler”; he empties homes in Brooklyn for resale and hopes to find stashes of cash left by deceased occupants who didn’t trust banks. He also lives in hope that a big find will allow him to assume “his birthright,” a hacienda in Baja California befitting his conquistador ancestry. When a job presents him with an $840,000 windfall, he quickly learns that a recently released Sing Sing prisoner, a retired cop, a devious and clever hairdresser, and a rival feeler are all after the same score. Actually, it’s more complicated than that, and Wiprud uses a lengthy letter Morty writes to a Mexican priest to tell his story. This epistolary form works well and allows the author to endow Morty with occasional Runyonesque speeches, bring a dozen quirky characters to life, and paint a vivid portrait of life in East Brooklyn. Although the body count rises steadily, this is a rollicking, high-energy tale that recalls Donald Westlake’s comic caper novels. --Thomas Gaughan
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; First Edition edition (March 3, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312388616
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312388614
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.1 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,475,128 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

THE CLAUSE reviews:

"Abundant action, comic confrontations (shades of Elmore Leonard), and clever deceits make for a fun-filled read. The final twist is not to be missed." LIBRARY JOURNAL - STARRED REVIEW

"Wickedly clever and meticulously engaging crime fiction by a master of the genre." FRESH FICTION

"In this fast-paced thriller. Wiprud excels at creating a sense of place; readers will feel like they're right there with Gill on New Jersey's Gold Coast and throughout the Big Apple and beyond." RT BOOK REVIEWS

"Gill's manipulation by the Feds is either paranoid fantasy or deadly accurate. The blending of forms makes for choppy reading, but there's enough action here to keep one going until the book finishes as a novel of revenge." BOOKLIST

"Amid almost comically obscene exchanges among the Serbians, the fast-paced action builds to a devilishly complex solution to who's the real puppet master." PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

"An intricate caper novel full of humor provided by Gill's ironic first person narration and complex plotting courtesy of the talented Brian Wiprud." MYSTERY LOVERS BOOKSHOP REVIEW

"The Clause will appeal to readers who look for Bourne identity style thrillers. The book is carefully plotted, slowly revealing the schemes and the identity of the anti-hero Gill, who is not what he seems to be, while at the same time keeping him breathlessly on the run from three flavors of bad guy and the law." NIGHT OWL BOOK REVIEWS

Author Bio:

Originally from Washington D.C., Brian Wiprud is a New York City author of eight crime novels, and THE CLAUSE is number nine. Brian won the 2002 Lefty Award, has been multiply nominated for Barry and Shamus Awards, and in 2011 for RT Book Reviewers Choice Award for Best Contemporary Mystery. Starred reviews have been bestowed on his novels from Publisher's Weekly, Library Journal and Kirkus. Brian is also an expert angler widely published in fly fishing magazines.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By James N Simpson TOP 1000 REVIEWER on April 19, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Feelers is one of the best books I've read in a while. It's got great characters, and an interesting plot. But what makes it work so well is how the story is told. It's written as a confession to a priest in La Paz, Mexico by a narrator who speaks (writes) in your comic stereotype gangster type way. Not that Morty Martinez is a gangster, it's just the way he talks. What Martinez is, is a simple guy, successful with the women due amongst other things to the way he talks. Morty lives materialistically, a very humble life. His apartment has not much more than a few books on Spanish history, as he is saving all his windfalls for the dream of buying the house of his ancestors in La Paz, Mexico. He doesn't exactly know where it is but currently has real estate agents looking for a dwelling with a unique fountain.

Morty makes his money as a feeler. Basically he buys the rights to a deceased estate's possessions where he can dispose of the furniture and other items in a dwelling however he likes. He has a particular skill of picking up the vibe of when there are tight ones. Tight ones are usually planter nut tins that old people hide their life savings in, usually hidden under a couch. Which is where Morty discovers 32 tight ones which amount to $800 000. Now Morty's dream of moving to Mexico is pretty much secure, all he has to do is wait for the real estate agents to find the house. However he also knows the day workers he hired will have loose tongues and there are those in the industry whose jealousy and friendship will not stretch to ignoring that windfall.

Throw in Danny Kessell a polite young man who just spent 15 years as the sole survivor of five million dollar armed robbery where the loot was never recovered.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 21, 2009
Format: Kindle Edition
as a longtime wiprud fan i expected great antics and witty dialogue. got that and so much more! morty is wiprud's best character so far and the brooklyn setting is skillfully rendered. hilarious *and* soulful.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on March 8, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Morty Martinez is a specialized house cleaner; after someone dies, he cleans their house. However, he makes more money as a "feeler" searching for the hidden cache of loot senior citizens leave behind.

In Brooklyn, Morty is euphoric to find $800,000 lying around while he cleaned the house. However, his find comes to the attention of his peers who want more than just a cut; the information also reaches an angry former cop who believes the loot in Brooklyn belongs to him as he believes it is part of an armored car robbery. Finally, one of the thieves who has just left prison having gained the useful skill of an ice pick killer and he wants his money; Morty better give it to him or risk a flash temper stabbing. Everyone targets Morty who thinks he can become the gringo lover of Mexican senoritas if he can escape from New York in one piece.

This is an enjoyable suspense thriller mindful of It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World as everyone seemingly in the Big Apple wants a bite out of the anti-hero's butt. The story line is fast-paced once Morty finds the loot and even faster is the underground gossip network. Brian M. Wiprud provides the audience with a terrific tale in which Morty may be dreaming of senoritas, but he can't safely get to New Jersey.

Harriet Klausner
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A. Gayle on March 5, 2009
Format: Hardcover
A well deserved starred review from Publishers Weekly prompted me to read this book and I was not disappointed. Although the faced paced twists and turns of the plot are fun and often unexpected, the best feature of this book is how the main character is developed. I fell in love with Morty's voice, which narrates the book with charm, wisdom and a moderately glorified sense of self, all of which make for a sympathetic, funny, lovable character. He is at once a bumbling romantic and a smart businessman and ingenious at saving his own skin. Enter Danny Kessel, a polite but lethal hit man in search of the money that Morty has found. Throw in a colorful cast of characters that also want a piece of the loot and this book is a hell of a good read.
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Format: Hardcover
Wiprud creates a charming and memorable character in Morty, a "feeler" who wants nothing more than the love of a good woman and to buy his family's ancestral home in Mexico. After he finds a small fortune and it looks like his dreams are about to come true, Morty goes on a hilarious, danger-fraught journey through the seedier corners of Brooklyn as he tries to evade a dangerous ex-con who's also after the money. Loved this one!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I had no idea what a "Feeler" was, but Wiprud describes the profession with great detail. A great adventure with many subplots and an ending not to be forgotten. I'll read anything Wiprud writes.
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