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Sharky's Machine by [Diehl, William]
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Sharky's Machine Kindle Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 48 customer reviews

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Length: 384 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Italy, 1944: A squad of American soldiers on a dangerous secret mission is ambushed and slaughtered . . . and a fortune in gold vanishes.
Hong Kong, 1959: An aging American colonel, haunted by his wartime past, is brutally murdered in a luxurious brothel.
Atlanta, 1975: The last survivor of the fatal World War II ambush in Italy is executed at point blank range in a parking lot.
Blowing away a crazed, gun-wielding drug dealer on a crowded city bus gets police detective Sharky bounced from the narc squad into the dreaded dregs of the department--vice. That's where he stumbles on a high-priced call girl and her pimp who are fleecing rich johns in an even higher-priced blackmail scam. Together with his "machine" of hard-bitten vice squad veterans, Sharky closes in for a big sting. He doesn't count on falling for Domino, his alluring target. Or falling into the middle of the murderous design she's a part of--involving a hot presidential candidate, the shadowy multimillionaire who's backing him, and the ice-cold assassin they're using to wipe out the past . . . before it blows their future to hell.
"Every chapter crackles with sex, violence, and corruption."
--The Washington Post
"Fast-paced, attention-holding, hard-hitting."
--Chicago Tribune
"A slam-bang ending that should shock the most jaded thriller reader."
--The Associated Press

About the Author

William Diehl died in November 2006.

Product Details

  • File Size: 932 KB
  • Print Length: 384 pages
  • Publisher: AEI/Story Merchant Books (July 16, 2012)
  • Publication Date: July 16, 2012
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008MBTV2C
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #415,722 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By N. Bilmes VINE VOICE on July 20, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
I first saw the movie "Sharky's Machine" when I was about 10 years old. It starred Burt Reynolds, and featured some nude women (my parents took me to lots of interesting movies), crisp violence, and snappy dialogue. I loved it! A few years later I discovered that the movie was based on this book, and read it from the library. Now, it's available on Kindle, and the book is still a winner. There's violence galore, sex, drugs, corrupt cops, and snappy dialogue. The pages still demanded to be read one after the other without much of a break; the story moves along rapidly, and there isn't much dead time in the entire novel.

Enjoy this book!
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This is a really 70's style story. Sex, drug, cops, and rock n'roll and Sharkey is up to his eyeballs in it all. The 70's? You just had to be there and this story takes you right back there. Fast paced, hard, pulpy, and gritty.
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Like nearly every thriller lover in Atlanta at the time, I read "Sharky's Machine" when it was first published in the 1970s and have fond memories of both the book and the underrated Burt Reynolds movie of the same title. "Sharky's Machine" was the first major contemporary thriller I can recall with an Atlanta setting, and both the book and the movie captured the feel of the city at that time. When it was recently offered for free on Amazon, I decided to reread it some 30 years later, to see if it held up. Despite some preposterous plotting (of the James Bond movie variety), it does.

Sharky, the title character, is a top Atlanta undercover cop who runs afoul of the brass when an attempted drug buy goes bad, resulting in a shootout on a crowded city bus. Even though no one but the drug dealer was hurt, the press has a field day with the event, and Sharky winds up being sent to the Vice Squad, a dumping ground for similar cops who have had a falling out with the powers that be. Sharky discovers that he's working with some good, experienced detectives who are tired of busting streetwalkers and flashers and want some real action. They soon get their wish.

"Sharky's Machine" takes place in 1975, and the major storyline revolves around a Southern politician who, like the real life Jimmy Carter at that time, is planning to run for President. He's got big bucks behind him as well, in the person of Victor DeLaroza, a shady businessman who seemed to appear from nowhere after World War II and later became a tycoon. As readers gradually learn throughout the course of the book, DeLaroza's fortune had its origins in an American gold shipment that disappeared in Italy in World War II following a botched intelligence operation.
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If you are a fan of Clint Eastwood's Dirty Harry, then you'll likely be at home with "Sharky's Machine" that focuses on a detective named Sharky who is quick to forgo police procedures and pump some well-deserved lead into criminals.

The story is set in 1975 Atlanta, with short sections set in 1944 Italy and 1959 Hong Kong that eventually tie into the main story. This was Diehl's first novel written in 1978, and there are a few surveillance technologies that are outdated, but they weren't a huge distraction. The story was a little slow in bringing together the three different time frames, and you don't really understand the complete tie-in until you are approximately 75% into the story.

After reading two of Diehl's works, he seems to like drawn out sex scenes that don't really add anything to the story. You can skip over these sections if you don't care for this kind of content. Given the story focuses on detectives in the 1970's, there are many expletives laced throughout the dialogue, which seems authentic to the way I would imagine these people would talk. I mention these things because they may be turn-offs for some readers.

Overall, I thought the story was OK, but nothing special. There was one minor surprise, but for the most part the story was on rails in that you followed along a linear path without any major deviations from where you might think the story would go.
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Even though this book has great action scenes, it isn't all mindless action. Nor are the characters merely stick figures. This is a well-rounded mystery/thriller crafted by a mature gifted author. I've been reading quite a few indie writers in the past couple of months. Some of them are pretty good and show lots of potential. Yet I leave those books yearning for more. Treat yourself to this novel and you will finish it wonderfully satisfied with your reading experience. It's a seven course meal with desert, an after dinner brandy and cigar!
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Okay - this novel...is AWESOME! If you are a fan of the motion picture, you will get a kick out of the comparisons and contrasts. If you are a resident of Metro Atlanta, you will appreciate the work. William Diehl's first novel is a swift read, and an engrossing tale that was truly made for a major movie script.
The tale follows Detective Sharky, who after a controversial shooting, is demoted from Homicide to Vice in the Atlanta Police Department. But it is in vice, wherein Sharky uncovers the biggest crime caper of his career, and finds a femme fatale in the form of Domino. Domino works for - and runs afoul of - a criminal mastermind, whose biggest score stems from World War II. He also has two vanity projects going: one is the potential presidential candidate; the other is a lavish theme park (YES - a THEME PARK), which plays a major role in the book's climax.
Although the story is set in 1975, with flashbacks to World War II and 1959 Hong Kong, the tale itself is suitable as a modern crime drama, and there's been talk of a remake. William Diehl's Sharky was tailored for Burt Reynolds. And it is a tragedy that he didn't do anymore sequels with the character. Is it an East Coast, Southern version of Dirty Harry? It's in the same ballpark, but the characters and setting make the tale stand alone, as Atlanta makes for a more diverse spot. If they ever do more with Sharky - be it follow-up novels or another film - there are several bad guys he could tangle with: pornographers, characters based on real life Southern rogues like Michael Thevis, The Dixie Mafia/State Line Mob, Carlos Marcello and Santos Trafficante, even the more up-to-date Black Mafia Family......
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