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Walking Money Hardcover – June 17, 2004


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Putnam Adult (June 17, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399151699
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399151699
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #972,342 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Putting 17 years of service with various law enforcement agencies to excellent use, Born delivers a riveting, serpentine tale of crooked cops, police politics and a $1.5-million bag of money juggled from one pair of dishonest hands to another. Duplicitous Rev. Alvin Watson and his ex-con partner, Cole Hodges, have been skimming money from Miami's Committee for Community Relief, and everyone—Hodges, a bank manager and even smarmy, rotund FBI task force officer Tom Dooley—has got his eyes on the loot. With a riot for cover, all three aim for it, but it's Dooley who walks away victorious. Then hero Bill Tasker, a Florida state cop with (surprise!) a checkered past but an honest heart, gets framed for the crime, after Dooley stashes a loot-laden satchel inside Tasker's backyard grill and then alerts vulturous media outlets. Tasker gets both the theft and a murder pinned on him while the mother lode is shuffled a few more times, ending up in Dooley's hands once again. Swirling suspicion and startling plot twists keep readers' heads spinning as Born's direct, no-nonsense prose (complete with plenty of off-color remarks) propel this novel to its bullet-ridden conclusion. This is a terrific debut.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* The title here wittily evokes both the shell game of the plot, in which a fortune appears and disappears in various boxes and briefcases, and the motivation for all those who seek this fortune: enough "walking around" money to last several well-oiled lifetimes. Anyone can play this game--criminals, cops, FBI agents, even a phony community activist. This is the kind of book that, to be credible, needs to be written by someone familiar with scam artists on both sides of the law. Born, a 17-year law-enforcement veteran, is now a special agent supervisor with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, overseeing investigations into organized crime, economic crimes, drug cartels, violent crimes, and public corruption. This background lends authority not only to the plot but also to the dialogue, the edgy cop humor, and the glitzy-grotesque South Florida setting. The hero, Florida Department of Law Enforcement cop Bill Tasker, recently transferred from West Palm Beach to Miami and assigned to the FBI-heavy Robbery Task Force, knows that a satchel with $1.5 million is about to walk out of a bank. The trick is to keep an eye on the prize once it walks and then as it changes hands over and over again. Honest-cop Tasker is framed, becomes a target, and continues investigating as the body count mounts. A sleek and slick caper. Connie Fletcher
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Customer Reviews

His style is matter-of-fact and fast-moving, laced with dry humor.
Alison Wunderlan
There is a good storyline and very good development of the characters by an author that understands and implements the elements for a page turning action novel.
Bob Valdez
We meet Bill Tasker, FDLE agent and another cop easy to like, funny and good at his job.
James L. Woolridge

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By David Montgomery VINE VOICE on October 21, 2004
Format: Hardcover
In the best tradition of Dave Barry and Carl Hiaasen, James O. Born has produced a twisted, fascinating and hilarious first novel of cops and crooks plying their trade in corrupt and juicy southern Florida.

The plot of Walking Money revolves around a crooked minister and his on-the-lam sidekick, who have scammed $1.5 million in cash from their community foundation. When word gets out, every bent operator in the city is desperate to get his hands on the lucre. It's up to state cop Bill Tasker to make sure none of them do.

This book will have readers laughing one minute and wincing the next, as the author leads them along a deliciously circuitous journey with all the skill and polish of a veteran writer. Born spent 17 years in law enforcement, so he obviously knows the criminal territory well. What is surprising is just how good a writer he is. I look forward to his next book.

Reviewed by David Montgomery, Chicago Sun-Times
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By EJ on August 28, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This book interested me from the blurbs on the cover. Big time writers like John Sanford don't endorse soemthing unless it's good. This comical story of a cop caught up in someone else's scheme kept me involved from the first page to the last.

The author is a cop and it shows in how the characters intereact, joke and even how they fight. This is a fast moving., involving book with a ton of well placed twists and turns.

I highly recommend it to anyone who likes a good detective story and realizm. I hope there is a series with the main character, Bill Tasker. The guy is interesting without being a carbon copy of TV cops. His life outside his work has a beat and interest as well. This really was a great book

EJ
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Fred Camfield on July 27, 2005
Format: Hardcover
The is an entertaining cops and robbers story that makes good light reading. It kept me up late getting to the end, which was an added twist which you will have to read for yourself (no peeking).

A couple of people have been skimming money and stashing it in a bank safety deposit box. The problem is that various people know about the money, or find out about the money, and everyone seems to have a scheme for getting their hands on it. A bag contains about $1.5 million, and the bag keeps changing hands. It is undocumented, untraceable cash, and as long as it is not in official custody nobody can prove that it actually exists. A big temptation for everyone, including some police officers, community activists, and even an exotic dancer.

State cop Bill Tasker finds himself caught in the middle as people steal the bag, have it stolen back, and it becomes like a complicated three shell game where nobody is sure who finally has it. Nobody can report a theft without implicating themselves. A few dead bodies are left along the way, and the FBI, state police, county police and local police have to figure out who can be charged with what.

Along the way there are some conflicts between blacks, hispanics, and whites; and some additional conflicts between the FBI, state, and local authorities.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By F. Rea on July 20, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Elmore Leonard blurbs that "Jim Born is the real thing-" I agree; really liked the sure handling of a police based story un-fettered with forensics details or deep procedural specifics, written by a law enforcement professional.

Walking Money is a story about twists and turns taken following a bag of big money that makes it hard for Bill Tasker, a good cop, to get his life together. Born gives us a tightly written tale introducing a sympathetic character, with good laughs, good suspense and personal drama, in a voice all his own. I'm looking forward to seeing where the series takes us.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By antny on August 28, 2004
Format: Hardcover
jim born's book is great! i've never been into crime fiction but i read this because he is a florida writer. i can't wait for his next one. the constant twists and turns in the plot made it hard for me to put it down and all the characters were so vivid, funny, and real. given born's expertise in law enforcment, he gives the reader a clear view of what it would be like to live the life of a cop and to realize they are real people with real problems. very entertaining and a real fun read. this book will be great as a movie. well done mr. born, you have a new fan.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By M. T. Rothenberg on June 21, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This is the most compelling, fast paced, intelligent book I've read in a year. The story of a cop framed by a FBI agent is funny, and feels like it really happened. A crooked reverend takes cash from the homeless but the FBI agent steals it. When things get hot he pins it on a Florida State agent.
This felt like a good movie. I coul;d see the action unfold and felt like the characters were fighting for their lives.
I loved this book and recommend it to anyone, not just readers of mysteries.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Chuck Z on June 22, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This novel read like a true story. I was fascinated , first by the story or money floating from one bad guy to the next, then by the detailed and accurate police work.

I will read every book this guy ever writes. I actually read his second book first. Shock Wave was even faster and funnier.

Read this guy! You won't be sorry.

Chuck
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Kara J. Jorges VINE VOICE on February 13, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
This aptly-titled book centers around a satchel filled with $1.5 million. This was money collected by the Committee for Community Relief, run by the Reverend Al Watson and his attorney, Cole Hodges. Naturally, they've been skimming quite a lot of money and hiding it in a safe deposit box at a little bank in a disreputable neighborhood. Right around the time each of them decides it's time to abscond with the cash--alone, an FBI agent decides he's going to use local riots as cover so he can rob safe deposit boxes at the bank. The bank manager, who has been spying on Hodges over the months as he filled the safe deposit box with cash, also decides to use the riots as cover for his opportunity to get rich. The bank manager, Hodges, and the FBI agent, Tom Dooley, converge on the money, but only one of them walks away with it, and the bank manager winds up dead. Dooley decides the best way to get away with taking the cash is to cast suspicion elsewhere, and almost randomly picks FDLE agent Bill Tasker to take the rap. When Tasker realizes he's being framed and it could cost him his career and his freedom, he decides to investigate the missing money himself, especially since the feds don't seem to be looking at any other suspects. Tasker has allies in the FDLE, and even the FBI agent investigating him doesn't seem to think he's guilty, but someone is sabotaging him and feeding stories to the media. Meanwhile, the satchel full of money keeps changing hands, sometimes winding up in surprising places, while Tasker unravels the mystery of who set him up and why.

Born's first Florida crime novel is excellent. He has a wonderful talent for changing the point of view, giving all of the characters a voice and keeping the action moving.
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More About the Author

I was always interested in writing and even took a shot as an undergrad at Florida State but aside from one article on street construction in Tallahassee I was unsuccessful.

I moved on to police work. When I was new to police work, as an agent with U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, I had an unrealistic view of what my job would be like. On television, DEA agents are in shoot-outs and get the chicks but in real life they follow suspected drug violators around until they can make a case. If you're a new guy, no one in the DEA much cares about family life or other interests, you just drive. I read a lot of Tom Clancy and W.E.B. Griffin because I liked the idea of learning something about the military. I would read the occasional police book but felt the books didn't reflect my experience as a cop. I was not a CIA trained assassin. I could not rip a shotgun out of someone's hands without suffering a catastrophic injury. I didn't crawl out of crushed police cars and shake off the injury. Neither did any cop I knew. So I wrote a book based on real police work with a ficitonal plot.

The most exciting part of being an author is that my editor, Neil Nyren, is also the editor of my two favorite military writers, Tom Clancy and W.E.B. Griffin.

The third book in the series, Escape Clause, was released in February, 2006. The story follows the main character to a prison to investigate an in custody death that isn't what it appears. By chance, I was assigned to investigate a death at South Bay correctional, the area I had used as a model for the town and prison in my book. Talk about life imitating art. Then, once at the prison, a Department of Corrections Inspector asked me if I was the guy who wrote the books. I gave him a post card for Escape Clause and watched his face as he realized I had written about the Department of Corrections.

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