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Surrounded (A Black Bat Mystery) Hardcover – 1974
"Neverworld Wake" by Marisha Pessl
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Brian Coffey is a pen name used by Dean Koontz early in his career. "Surrounded" is the second of three Black Cat Mystery stories featuring Mike tucker, successful art dealer and professional thief. It was published in 1974 by the Bobbs-Merrill Company.
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SURROUNDED is an early crime novel by Koontz, written in 1974 under the name Brian Coffey. It features the character of Mike Tucker, a rare arts dealer who moonlights as a professional thief to support his luxurious lifestyle. In SURROUNDED, Tucker gets involved in a bank robbery in an indoor mall in Los Angeles. Something goes wrong, and he ends up being surrounded by the police. How does Tucker escape the mall without the police noticing? Koontz comes up with a clever solution in this entertaining crime caper.
This novel is fun, but short and lightweight, like a dime novel. I finished SURROUNDED in under two hours. This novel is interesting in the sense that Tucker, the main character, is a rather amoral criminal. He's a far cry from the usually virtuous heroes that Koontz would concentrate on in his later work.
Koontz wrote three novels in total about Tucker and SURROUNDED is the second in the series. This novel can be read on it's own however.
This book is currently out-of-print and is almost impossible to find, except at incredibly high prices. I found my copy at my local library. In my opinion, it's not worth paying more than ten dollars for this novel, unless you're a hardcore Koontz collector.