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The Anderson Tapes (The Edward X. Delaney Series) Kindle Edition
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About the Author
- ASIN : B00B4V7MWI
- Publisher : Open Road Media Mystery & Thriller (February 12, 2013)
- Publication date : February 12, 2013
- Language : English
- File size : 2776 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 340 pages
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #85,764 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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In ”The Anderson Tapes,” Sanders does away with conventional narration and instead tells the story almost entirely in dialog. Some of this dialogue is in the form of police interviews and interrogations of some of the victims, witnesses, and crooks involved in the robbery. However, most of that dialogue consists of transcripts of various bugs and wiretaps of the different locations where the book takes place. Sanders’ central conceit is that all sorts of law enforcement agencies, including city and state police, IRS, FTC, FBI were bugging nearly every locale where the crooks discussed the detailed planning of the robbery.
And the robbery proves quite intricate, as thought up by Duke Anderson, an ex-con who comes up with the idea of taking over and robbing an entire five-story apartment building in New York City on a holiday weekend when most of the tenants are out of town. He assembles a team of specialists, gets mob approval and funding for the job, and then puts the whole thing in motion. All the while, the various law enforcement agencies have information about exactly what he’s going to do. The only problem for them is that they’re like the proverbial blind men and the elephant. Each agency has a part of the puzzle, but no one knows how to put it all together.
As a heist thriller, ”The Anderson Tapes” is pretty good, but the narrative gimmick puts just enough distance between the narration and the reader so that suspense and character development suffer a bit. The effect is like reading a screenplay of a scene from a movie as opposed to actually seeing the scene on film. Once the robbery starts, Sanders switches narrative gears a bit and tells the story mostly in the form of after-the-fact police interviews. That form of narration makes the storyline easier to follow and sets the stage for the big plot twist. As you might guess, Anderson’s robbery doesn’t quite go as planned, but the complication turns out to be a surprise and very much a product of the time period.
Indeed, much of the enjoyment in reading the book is seeing how much, and how little, things have changed in 50 years. When Sanders wrote ”The Anderson Tapes,” he intended it as somewhat of a cautionary tale, warning people about the prevalence of government surveillance. As such, the book foreshadows Watergate. Today, Sanders’ message is old hat, but the notion of not having central coordination of law enforcement surveillance (a point one character in the book makes) really came home to roost before the World Trade Center attack.
All in all, ”The Anderson Tapes” is a decent heist movie with a sufficiently complex plot, but not as good as the Lumet film in that regard. The narrative style detracts somewhat from the suspense, so readers looking primarily at that aspect of the book may be a bit disappointed. However, the overall context of the film as a time capsule of its era and the technology and politics of the time is fascinating. (There’s even a mention of the “new-fangled” 911 emergency number that had just been implemented.) So, read and enjoy the book, but be careful that nobody’s eavesdropping on you.
The novel is set in New York City in 1968. Professional burglar John "Duke" Anderson, fresh out of prison, is already planning his next caper, the "one big score" which will allow him to retire. Seems that Duke has his eye on cleaning out a luxury apartment building from basement to rooftop - robbing the rich tenants of their jewels, artworks, and ready cash. To pull off this score, he needs a whole crew of men - scouts, con-men, alarm experts, muscle, getaway drivers.
He also needs the permission, and the help, of the local mob - and not only do they want a piece of the action, they also have a "special request" which Anderson has no choice but to grant.
As the day of the big heist approaches, Duke attempts to plan for every contingency, every possible thing that could go wrong, until the entire operation is hatchway tight and completely foolproof. The question he fails to ask is: Is it genius-proof, too?
Although I'm a huge Lawrence Sanders fan, THE ANDERSON TAPES is not a book I expected to like. The device of telling a whole story by wiretap and through "official reports" is a bit daunting, but once you warm to it it's actually pretty damn compelling as well. It's true that Sanders' understanding of the Mafia is tainted by a lack of knowledge; however, that's not his fault; when this book was written the mob's secrets were still largely secret. And while Sanders is arguably the best prose-writer of his era, his dialogue was never realistic - like Mario Puzo, he could never resist putting outsize words in the mouths of his characters, so that his Mafia Dons sound more like Oxford Dons, and subeducated hustlers use five-syllable words. However, in the end, the book does exactly what it sets out to do - it entertains, grips, and makes you turn pages faster and faster as you follow Duke Anderson through the intricacies of his One Big Score. For the record, it also paints a fascinating picture of crime in the pre cell-phone era. It is also notable for introducing toward the end of the book the character of Edward X. Delaney, an NYPD precinct commander who was later to become the central character of Sanders' DEADLY SIN mystery series.
In short, if you like crime stories, I can't imagine you won't enjoy THE ANDERSON TAPES.
Top reviews from other countries
Sanders takes the approach of an author investigating a crime committed in New York on the night of the 31st August/ morning of 1 September 1968 and all the writing is assembled from eyewitness reports, records of court proceedings, penal institutions and investigative agencies, tape recordings from surveillance devices (which, rather unbelievably are simply everywhere, but we will give the author artistic licence!), personal correspondence, newspaper reports, official reports and the authors own experiences.
This is an old fashioned heist, in which John "Duke" Anderson assembles a team, and mafia funding, to help him plan an audacious robbery. He plans to rob not one apartment in an upscale block, but all of them. However, it is never possible to plan for every eventuality and things do not go as expected... This is an exciting and well written mystery with great characters. It is also the novel which introduces Sanders most famous character - Captain Edward X Delaney. Although he only enters the storyline near the end, he is the main character in the next novel The First Deadly Sin (The Edward X. Delaney Series) . I am delighted to see these books re-released on kindle for a new audience.