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The Big Hit Kindle Edition
Mongo wakes up, brushes his teeth, and prepares to kill a movie star. He needs a wig and a phony press pass, as well as a very special tape recorder that holds two fléchettes, one of which is earmarked for screen siren Catherine Delure. A bit of smooth talk takes Mongo past Delure’s security and into her hotel room, where he completes his assignment with ease. The hit was simple, he thinks. But it is about to go terribly wrong.
Delure appears to have been shot during a robbery, but homicide detective Jeb Barker is not fooled. Tracking the self-assured assassin leads the PI first to Las Vegas, then to California—where blue sky and palm trees cannot distract him from the darkness within the hit man’s heart.
“A gripping, tautly written thriller.” —Orlando Sentinel on Flesh and Blood
“A grand whopper of a thriller . . . The author works in a pared-down, pulsating style and introduces nicely timed humor.” —Booklist, starred review
About the Author
Harvey followed Tolliver through four more novels, including Painted Ladies, Mental Case, and Dead Game. In 2011, Harvey published Sharks of the Air, a history of the development of the first jet fighter, and in 2014, he returned to thrillers with The Big Hit.
- ASIN : B00JL1CI18
- Publisher : MysteriousPress.com/Open Road (July 29, 2014)
- Publication date : July 29, 2014
- Language : English
- File size : 1510 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 594 pages
- Page numbers source ISBN : 1784089710
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,063,151 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
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As Jeb moves through the investigation, he encounters Ms. Delure's housekeeper who refers to her late employer as "Miz Delure" sounding not unlike Hattie McDaniel who played "Mammy" in "Gone with the Wind"-- however, the housekeeper has an Eastern European name; imagine a crazed Cloris Leachman playing "Mammy," and you'll see the clashing images that wracked my mind. Later, the author introduces a butler whose name is "Cedric" — that's about as close to "Jeeves" as you can get! Finally, the hero, Jeb Barker, tells the reader that he doesn't like "rap" music and the clothes the rappers wear--pants falling off and jangling medallions. He likes "country" music. Ok, we get it. The author, James Neal Harvey, is an old white guy. All the hero had to say was that he liked country music, and it is assumed that he doesn't like rap, hip hop and the genre of music favored by the young. (Back in the day, we were assured that listening to Elvis and Little Richard would doom our wretched souls to the deepest corners of hell.) Likewise, had the hero liked rap, we would assume that he did not favor country. Way to go Harvey! Add to the great American divide.
These dumb and lazy stereotypes of the politically correct rednecks aside, The Big Hit is an exciting read, and Harvey is a skilled storyteller. However, it's like having a wonderfully clean and ironed shirt and then smearing mustard all over it for no good reason at all.
If you like fast-moving stories and don’t mind some rough edges, this could be the book for you. The killer, Mongo, is both smart and efficient, but seems more like a B-movie villain than a cold-blooded assassin. Jeb could have stepped straight out of a ‘70s or ‘80s police drama, and the other characters probably wandered over from central casting. And the “surprise” love interest is pure cliché. But the pacing is dead on, never dragging nor becoming too frantic, and the writing is clever. There aren’t a lot of plot twists, but it’s cool to watch as the motive is slowly revealed. And, something you don’t always get in modern thrillers, in the NYC scenes you get the feel and colour of New York, and the same for LA. You couldn’t just change the names of the cities without changing all the background detail that goes with them. Which makes the story both more absorbing and more realistic.
I was torn between whether to give this 3- or 4-stars, but went with 4 because it really was a fun read. Just set your expectations accordingly, and then enjoy.
There are a couple of distressing loose ends, like a failure to mention the discovery of the remains of the security guard that Mongo stuffed into the roof vent; of course, that was just a sideline, but since it didn't further the plot in any way, it left me wondering why that incident had to happen at all. Collateral damage that is relevant to the story is morally acceptable to me, but that which is not is a bit distressing. In any event, though, the narrative is at times quite tongue-in-cheek, and makes it quite clear that the "facts" as reported by the news media in ALL high-profile cases will be "spun" to provide maximum titillation and obfuscation. All in all, a fun book.