From Publishers Weekly
This smart new thriller from Schow (Gun Work) imagines the dizzying confusion an average guy would undergo if sucked into a shadowy espionage scenario. That guy is L.A. advertising exec Conrad Maddox, who at LAX accidentally gets hold of a case of firearms, which proves a Pandora's box. Shortly after he opens the case, he's nearly offed by an assassin, who in turn is killed by the case's intended recipient, a hit man named Dandine. It turns out that Dandine's former employer, the clandestine security agency NORCO (Dandine has no idea what the acronym stands for), is linked tangentially to a political candidate whose campaign Maddox's ad firm is steering. Joining Dandine to learn why NORCO would plot to kill them both, Conrad finds himself plunged into a world of chaotic intrigues whose double- and triple-crosses soon have him doubting even his own identity. Though Schow aims to deromanticize the sexy allure of Hollywood suspense capers, readers will still find this novel hip, hard-boiled entertainment.
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L.A. ad executive Conrad Maddox finds a luggage-locker key and decides to perk up his quotidian existence by opening the locker. He finds a briefcase containing guns, silencers, cash, and a realistic-looking FBI identification card. Within a few hours, he's bound in duct tape, and a female assassin is dead in his high-rise apartment. Enter Dandine, the assassin who was supposed to get the briefcase. The almost-spectral Dandine offers Conrad a cryptic explanation of what he's stumbled into: the real world is run by “Subterraneans,” shadowy private spook firms, and crooked politicians controlled by the spooks. Ordinary folk, like Conrad, are simply the “walking dead.” Dandine invites Conrad along, to continue his education, so to speak. As they hurtle through L.A. nights, the body count rises alarmingly, and Dandine continues his disquisition, which may be artful obliquity or inspired gibberish. Either way, Internecine is twisted, high-energy fun. Quirky characters, labyrinthine schemes, and lots of spirited gunplay ensure that hard-boiled crime fans will love it. --Thomas Gaughan