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Naked Moon (North Beach Mystery) Hardcover – March 2, 2010

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Product Details

  • Series: North Beach Mystery (Book 4)
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; First Edition edition (March 2, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312364547
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312364540
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 6.1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #284,869 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In Edgar-winner Stansberry's strong fourth novel to feature San Francisco PI Dante Mancuso (after 2008's The Ancient Rain), leaked secrets about the company, Mancuso's shadowy former employer (a front for intelligence operations), prompt the company to end the stalemate that allowed Dante to walk away in the previous book. Meanwhile, Leanora Chin, a cop with Special Investigations, is threatening Dante's cousin Gary, who runs a shady warehouse operation. Gary fears the wrath of the powerful Wu Benevolent Association if he cooperates with Chin. The company tells Gary it can halt the investigation if Dante will help the company. Trapped in a three-way vise, Dante searches for a way to neutralize the explicit threats to his cousin and others dear to him, while knowing that the only permanent solution is to disappear. San Francisco's North Beach is a virtual character as the stoic Dante fearlessly plays out the poor hand he's been dealt against a table of sharks with all the chips in the pot. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* We’ve said it all along: whereas others play at noir, Stansberry delivers the real thing. That was true with the marvelous Ancient Rain (2008), and it’s even more true with this latest entry in the Dante Mancuso series. This time the San Francisco P.I.’s shady past (working for a clandestine government security outfit called the Company) comes back to haunt him. Ordinarily, you don’t ever quit the Company, but Dante managed it through some tricky leverage; now the Company has its own leverage in the form of Dante’s cousin, who has turned to the group for help when his warehousing business goes south. “It was nice to think you had a choice, that your actions made a difference one way or another,” Dante muses, but he knows better. Think of the end of For Whom the Bell Tolls—Robert Jordan with a Gatling gun between his legs and the Fascists coming up the mountain en masse—and you’ll have some idea of just how dark the world looks to Dante’s shrouded eyes (and, unlike Jordan, Dante harbors no illusions about honor). As always, Stansberry combines his unrelenting noir world view with remarkably lyrical prose. You want a similar title? Try Mozart’s Requiem. --Bill Ott

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Luan Gaines HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 2, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Dante Mancuso is at home in San Francisco's Italian North Beach neighborhood, sifting through the remnants of his deceased father's life, contemplating the fate of an on-and-off relationship with Marilyn Visconti, a woman he has known- and loved-for years. But everything changes with a phone call, his job as an employee for Cicero's Investigations, his future with Marilyn, even his life expectancy as the ghosts of the past return to haunt him. A former career in corporate security has hounded Dante into the present, "The Company" demanding he acquire a diary that may have surfaced in Chinatown, a list of names and numbers that endangers the organization. The message is clear: recover the book or your lover is history.

Suddenly Dante's future doesn't look as promising, the familiar territory of his childhood and his freedom from the past subject to immediate change. Old habits quickly return as Mancuso senses the change in atmosphere, the violent death of his cousin by garroting, the inscrutable solidarity of the Wu family when he starts asking questions about the diary, too many suspicious coincidences, the veiled threats of a former partner in the SFPD and the appearance of a familiar car in his rear view mirror wherever he goes. Dante's relationship with Marilyn must be shattered, his lover sent away with no explanation, his painstaking efforts to stay ahead of his pursuers never quite successful.

The drama builds and along with it the violence from unexpected quarters, a cheap hotel in Chinatown, a little bungalow for sale in Marin County, the old neighborhood now filled with menacing shadows. The Company kills with impunity, Mancuso's options few and running out as he finds himself trapped in a blind alley with two cold-eyed killers and one conscientious cop. This short noir thriller has all the bells and whistles, a great treat. Luan Gaines/2010.
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Format: Hardcover
No one walked away from the top secretive Company until Dante Mancuso did. To do so he had to take with him secrets that would expose the Company of illegal activity if something happened to him. Dante settled in his hometown of San Francisco becoming a private investigator who tried to avoid anything remotely tied to his previous employment.

Meanwhile SFPD Special Investigations Officer Leanora Chin investigates Dante's cousin Gary who operates a crooked warehouse. Gary knows if he cooperates with the cop, the Wu Benevolent Association will sever that tie by killing him. Feeling caught between the Rock and the bay, he contacts his cousin's former employee who promises to assist him if Dante performs a Company task. Feeling triangulated, Dante seeks a way out without harming his loved ones as he knows the firm will demand more favors of him or else his cousin and others will go down.

With a nod to John Grisham's The Firm although Dante is much better prepared than Mitch McDeere, Dominic Stansberry provides a great San Francisco treat. The North Beach thriller is fast-paced from the moment the impassive Dante calmly realizes his options and never slows down as he works the mission with subtle plans of what he must do if he is too ever be free of his insidious former employers whose grip is tighter than a stay at the Hotel California.

Harriet Klausner
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By DanaB on January 8, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
Some books you read and enjoy, like a piece of candy, and then forget. This book is memorable, haunting. I read it months ago, but I still think about it, ponder the main character's world and dilemmas, and contemplate the shattering ending. An unforgettable read. Highly recommended.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By cwalsh on September 5, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Your latest novel is my second favorite with the word "naked" in the title, not quite up to "The Naked and the Dead" but more satisfying than "Naked Lunch."
I'll give you this: Taking this novel together with the one that preceeded it, you sure know how to wrap things up with a bang.

But why did you go and kill off a perfectly good character? Dante was such a sweet guy (just like me). You could have saved him for the first crime novel to take place in nursing home.

As I see it, your options are limited at this point. You could:
1-Write a trashy romance novel about Marilyn and David Lake.
2-Shift gears and create an entirely new genre, crime poetry (consult Ralph on this).
3-Write a Kafka-esque novel narrated by that company guy with the insect-like voice.
4-If memory serves, Dante has sowed his wild oats. Maybe an illegitimate son or daughter could surface (nose first).

Hope you do well riding over those Marin Hills.
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