Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Fields Where They Lay by Timothy Hallinan

Both a Russian mobster's deadline and Christmas are looming large for burglar-turned-detective Junior Bender, and it's likely either or both will be the death of him.

In this installment of the Junior Bender series (#6 if you're counting), our ethically questionable hero is stuck in a decaying suburban mall trying to figure out why store loss numbers are so out of whack. Also, what to buy for holiday gifts.

The book's funny, and this series has a wry wit that's unlike anything else. A dying mall is hardly anyone's dream, and the fact that Junior is stuck circling, circling, circling this pit of despair is a great setup for his equally dark introspection about the state of his life and love.

There's a great cast of characters in the store owners and mall regulars, with a few of Junior's friends mixed in too. It might not put you in the holiday season, but it's a great read.

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