From Publishers Weekly
Lecard, in his endlessly entertaining debut, shows great skill in pacing and characterization. Smalltime Long Island crook Johnnie LoDuco is on the lam after being unjustly fingered as the mastermind of a convenience store heist. While passing the time fishing, he pulls from the water the severed head of his best friend, Vinnie McCloskey-Schmidt, a computer-savvy con artist who had recently promised to bring LoDuco into his business. This grisly discovery leads to an engaging comedy of errors, as LoDuco struggles to stay one step ahead of crooked cops, an amiable serial killer, mobsters and mysterious figures who may be pulling the strings of an international financial conspiracy. The violence, though plentiful, is cartoonish, and Lecard's appealing antihero has a distinctive voice reminiscent of Kinky Friedman's detective alter ego. Sure to appeal to Elmore Leonard fans, this first novel augurs a long and successful career for its author. (Mar.)
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Johnnie LoDuco means well. Unfortunately, he's not very bright. He's also lazy, unlucky, and a frequent victim of his justifiably bad reputation. Fresh out of county jail, he has just arrived back in Comapogue, Long Island, when he's nabbed again--this time for a crime he didn't commit (the cops follow a trail of cold cuts from a looted deli to the car where he's catching up with the thieves). He's bailed out by an old friend, who enlists him in a remarkable scam. But when the brains of the operation is decapitated, Johnnie finds himself running from cops, mobsters, and a bounty hunter, all of whom think he might actually know something about what's going on. The farcical complications are balanced by a dry wit, a memorable cast, and the sense that, yeah, you've actually read about chumps like this in the police blotter. Sometimes Johnnie is a bit smart for a dummy, but that's a quibble. This fast and funny read is an original take on the bumbling-criminal genre and will appeal to fans of Elmore Leonard and Carl Hiaasen. Keir GraffCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved