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Thirteen Million Dollar Pop: A Frank Behr Novel Hardcover – August 9, 2011

Book 3 of 3 in the Frank Behr Series

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Product Details

  • Series: Frank Behr
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday; First Edition first Printing edition (August 9, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780385532532
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385532532
  • ASIN: 0385532539
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 6.4 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,719,616 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews Review

A Letter from Author David Levien

Frank Behr is a maverick. In 13 Million Dollar Pop, I wanted him to have the best reason in the world to try and curb that spirit, to walk the line and hold down a steady job--starting a new family. And then I wanted the circumstances of keeping that equilibrium to quickly become impossible for him. Every one of us, even those of us who don’t happen to be private investigators, face aspects of work and life that don’t jibe with how we want it to be. Behr’s struggle reflects that.

Of course most of us don’t come up against greedy businessman and power hungry players who are willing to stoop to all manner of crime and violence and even the use of malevolent professional killers to get what they want. That’s why Frank Behr is different than you and me. He wrestles with a strict inner code that is often at odds with the world around him, while trying to survive and overcome the animals he encounters in the streets, and if not set things right, then at least find the answers behind why it all happens.

I invite you to take the ride that is 13 Million Dollar Pop and decide for yourself how you’d do in Frank Behr’s shoes.


Raves for 13 Million Dollar Pop:

“If you take heart medicine, you'll want to consult with a doctor before reading this pulse-quickening thriller from David Levien….With his machete-sharp wit, Levien paints a vivid picture of what happens when power lands in the hands of the wrong people. Not surprisingly, his characters are alive with energy, and his rapid-fire plot is hunkered in realism. All in all, [13 Million Dollar Pop] is a thunderous book that shines a light on dirty politics and the repercussions of getting caught in the crossfire. Bullet for bullet, this is one explosive read.” --Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star


“The truth of the characters—and the intensity of their pain—is as unbearably real as it gets.” —New York Times Book Review

“Levien is the new must-read thriller writer.” —Lee Child

Customer Reviews

Altogether, it was just a bit too much.
Craig Larson
I don't know if this is because they're going to be picked up in the next book, or Levien thought they just weren't worth resolving.
Brian Baker
His character is well drawn and comes alive in the story.
michael a. draper

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By michael a. draper VINE VOICE on August 9, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Two of the main appeals of David Levien's novels are his intricate plots and his multi-demensional characters.

In this novel, Frank Behr is a relatively new employee at the Caro Group, private investigators and personal security advisors.

As the story begins, he's on a security detail for Bernard Kolodnik. This was supposed to be an easy assignment but someone attempts to kill Kolodnik. However, Frank's quick reflexes saves him.

Frank is treated like a hero at work but wants answers. When he asks about the official investigation, he's stonewalled.

The next day, the governor appoints Kolodink as a replacement when the senior senator from Indiana resigns to fight advanced prostate cancer.

The story describes a real estate developer whose development included a casino which needed to be approved. The developer and an official in Kolodnik's staff conspire to put the developer and Kolodnik together. The result was supposed to be a quick sale and a payoff of thirteen million dollars. However, the economy and other factors stalled the development. Now that Kolodnik is a public official, he leaves his business dealings behind.

The author explores Frank's goal of solving the crime. However, he's also a compassionate man and we witness his tender moments while with his girlfriend, Susan, who is nearing her delivery date. In addition, Frank is also a man who helps people who have been unjustly treated. I felt that Frank was the type of character who would always be against bullies and attempt to do something when people were being mistreated. This made me appreciate Frank even more.

Thinking of what character in literature that Frank reminded me of, I would compare him to Tom Joad of "The Grapes of Wrath.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Brian Baker VINE VOICE on September 5, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I won't rehash the whole story line here, as you can get that from the Amazon product page.

Frank Behr returns, now working for a full-service PI/security firm in Indianapolis. He's chafing at the bit, his corporate environment rubbing him as raw as the collar of the dress shirt he's forced to wear with his suit. He's about to become a father again. He finds himself on a one-man personal security detail when the bullets start flying. Though he successfully defends his principal, he can't help but try to find out exactly why he found himself at the wrong end of an assassin's gun.

This is a solid work by author Levien. It's well-plotted, and the characters are fully realized. Fast-paced and engaging. Never a dull moment. You know how when you're reading some books you kind of skip ahead when the author gets bogged down in exposition or minutiae? There's none of that here. This book moves inexorably ahead.

Now, understand that there's no "mystery" here to try to unravel. You know right from the start and all the way through just who did what. The fun is in watching Frank try to figure out what's going on, and set things to right.

In doing so, there's plenty of action; the bodies actually seem to pile up at quite a rate. That's because Frank's pitted against a professional killer who's every bit as tough as Frank himself, and much more ruthless to boot.

It all makes for a very entertaining read.

This book doesn't quite live up to Levien's premiere in City of the Sun, though. That book was quite a dazzler - maybe lightning captured in a bottle - with its somewhat surrealistic overtones and mystique.
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Format: Hardcover
David Levien has been mining the dark criminal underbelly of Indianapolis in a series of books featuring a solo private investigator named Frank Behr. Behr is a big, tough guy, instinctively smart and imminently capable, whose tragic flaw and greatest strength is his inability to color inside the lines. CITY OF THE SUN and WHERE THE DEAD LAY, the first two books in the series, introduced and explored Behr's strengths and weaknesses against the backdrop of urban crime. THIRTEEN MILLION DOLLAR POP, the third installment, delves into the shadows cast behind the glitter and bright noise of the gambling industry.

"...the action becomes so nerve-wracking that you will fall off the edge of your seat."
The book finds Behr employed as an operative with the Caro Group, which, as initially described, is as close to a "white shoe" firm as one gets in the field of private investigation. Behr has taken the job as security, given that his significant other, Susan, is near term with his child. A reliable source of income is an absolute must, even if Behr is chafing at the concept of accepting and following orders.

Compared to some of the jobs Behr has handled, escorting a charismatic, on-the-rise politician named Bernard Kolodnik --- "Bernie Cool" to his friends --- on a last-minute assignment seems like a cakewalk. It is anything but, however, and when Behr foils an assassination attempt on Bernie in a deserted parking lot, he becomes the office hero for the day. The perp gets away, and Behr is puzzled as to why the matter is seemingly being dropped so quietly, with the police stuck in neutral in their investigation.

Behr can't let the thing go and begins an investigation on his own, neglecting a mundane but important Caro assignment and digging on his own time as well.
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