- File Size: 689 KB
- Print Length: 195 pages
- Publisher: St. Austin's Press (December 19, 2013)
- Publication Date: December 19, 2013
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B0081TQLD2
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #529,658 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Print List Price:||$9.99|
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MADMAN'S THIRST: A Jake Scarne Thriller (JAKE SCARNE THRILLERS Book 2) Kindle Edition
"Bones Don't Lie" by Melinda Leigh
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A longtime journalist, De Maria seems to have saved his juiciest stories for his fiction, and this one once again steps behind the scenes of a big city's power brokers -- an influential financial magazine and a local newspaper on the media side against greedy business interests and the best politicians money can buy on the other side.
Scarne, who first appeared in Sound of Blood, is still recovering from the hard knocks he took in that novel but is drawn into this case when the teenager's murder rocks Staten Island and information comes to light that it may not have been a random burglary gone bad but a targeted assassination to get her newspaper editor father off an investigation into some suspect property deals in the borough.
De Maria has a real flair with bad guys. As in Elmore Leonard's gritty novels, the villains here have personalities and preoccupations of their own. They are by and large not very bright, but some even have their own twisted integrity and professional pride. The really irredeemable bad guys usually meet an appropriately grisly end, so justice does prevail. But some others -- those with the redeeming qualities -- at times can even be allies for Scarne as he picks his lonely way through big-city corruption to solve his case.
De Maria inserts a number of novel twists and turns into the plot, and comes up with an attempt on Scarne's life as innovative as any bizarre situation ever faced by James Bond. (No spoilers, but it involves a deadly machine run amok.)
Scarne is still recovering from his white-hot romance in the earlier book, so his ongoing dalliance with Emerald Shields, scion in a media family eerily similar to the Forbes clan, lacks the passion of his previous romance. It doesn't stop him from being mildly flirtatious with other women his investigation brings him into contact with.
The pace is good, though there is perhaps still too much detail about what Scarne eats and drinks. It's not really all that interesting and rarely germane to the plot. Likewise, we sometimes spend too much time with characters who are not integral to the action. These by-plays may add to the overall texture of the novel, but in a book that needs to be a little bit shorter, some of them could have been sacrificed.
But these are quibbles with what is an overall very satisfying trip once again into that De Maria-land (a third novel, Capriati's Blood, explores the same milieu with a different hero) that is probably much closer to reality than we would like to think. There's thrills, there's spills, and the good guys mostly win. What's not to like.
Jake still isn't himself after the death of Loeb.
He's been coasting along. His friends are worried about him.
He is seeing Emma Shields and she makes things a little easier for him.
She also has Ari Arachne on her mind. He's a wealthy mover and shaker ala Trump. He's married but about to divorce wife number three and chase Emma as wife number four. Of course Emma thinks of him as a friend and thats all.
A young girl, the daughter of the editor of a newpaper, is raped and killed in a burglary gone wrong. At least thats what the perps of the crime want all to believe.
One of the perps Banacek, while a contract killer, does have some things he won't do. Raping a high school kid is one of em. Killing for money yes. Raping kids. No way.
He kills the other perp. The guy who actually raped and killed the girl. Parts of him and the vehicle they used are scattered all over Staten Island in many land fills. He will never be found.
Banacek is dying of pancreatic cancer and he knows it. He confesses his crimes to a priest. He then checks himself into a VA Hospice in Florida to die. Banacek was a Viet Nam vet and was one hell of a LRRP soldier.
The priest who took his confession tells what he knows to Dudley Marks and Jake Scarne. He won't tell it to the police or anyone else.
So begins one hell of a good read. This one has hitmen, murder, attempted murder, rape and corruption up the ass.
Jake has to try to find the killers and the only lead he has is forty years old.
He does finally catch a break and go to Florida looking for Banacek. Then the story really heats up.
Jake is targeted by the mastermind of the whole thing and is nearly killed.
Good thing the hitman the mastermind hires is a man of honor. He also knows a nutjob, his ex-employer, when he sees one. He's also all about his own survival but doesn't kill needlessly.
Just one good read and another five stars for Scarne and DeMaria.
No borrowing from old James Bond movies. No boring descriptions of golf games.
A fairly credible story based partially on reported events. You will find soon enough.
Mixture of blasting and praising Bahamas resorts - I have been to Bahamas only once and spent all the time snorkeling and watching barracudas reciprocating by giving me the evil eye. In the ocean, of course, not in an aquarium.
There is some continuity with the first Jake Scarne book but it is not at all a sequel.
I can only congratulate the author for giving us a good read, with many original twists and turns and kind of politically correct in NOT depicting two gay guys as merciless murderers. The stereotype of interior designers fits much better.
Most recent customer reviews
What I really liked was this book acknowledges players in the field who are more skilled than Jake and who get the drop on...Read more