From Publishers Weekly
Clunky pacing and cartoonish characters weigh down Vincent's third crime thriller, set in Las Vegas in 1980. Amid efforts by Nick Conti, the producer and chief writer of The Strip
, a popular PI TV series, to keep the local Mafia from interfering and getting a cut of the show's action, Conti finds time to do it all. He negotiates with Hollywood moguls, soothes wounded TV star egos, offers his irresistible self up to fawning actresses and slugs it out with mobsters with names like Carlo and Fats. The rapid-fire two- and three-page chapters give the book a cut-and-paste feel that may work on film, but leaves readers with too little explanation for what just happened. Worse, most of the characters talk the same way—clipped, jaded and very, very with it. Himself a former writer and producer at Spelling Productions, Vincent (Mafia Summer
) includes many real-life details and personages from Vegas's past, but the result is a story that reads like a superficial TV script. (Jan.)
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This stand-alone novel from television producer and novelist Vincent (Mafia Summer, 2005, and Black Widow, 2008) is set in Las Vegas in 1980. Nick Conti is the producer of The $trip, a popular private-eye series. When a local mobster tries to extort protection money from the show, Nick must draw on his own family’s connections to the Kansas City mob to protect both the show and his own life. Vincent takes the best thing about his two previous novels—his portrayal of American organized crime from the point of view of a guy who just wants to live his own life—and combines it with something he knows intimately, the world of television production. The novel is broken into very brief chapters (94 of them), a device that keeps the production moving at a brisk clip. In addition,Vincent tells the story mainly through dialogue, keeping expository narrative passages to the bare minimum (imagine a screenplay in prose form). Fans of novels set in the television milieu will definitely want to read this one. --David Pitt