Barely escaping with their lives when their apartment building burns down, John and Janice Deal learn that Cuban-American kingpin Tommy Torreno is blazing a path toward control of Florida's sugar crop. $45,000 ad/promo. Tour.
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Les Standiford is the author of ten novels, including the John Deal series, and two works of nonfiction, including Last Train to Paradise. He wrote a chapter of Naked Came the Manatee, and edited The Putt at the End of the World, a collective novel of golf. He is the past recipient of the Frank O'Connor Award for Short Fiction and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship.From Publishers Weekly:
There's no question about Standiford's terrific ability to move a story along, but, judging by this generally sharp sequel to his debut novel, Done Deal, his characterizations could use some tuning. Building contractor John Deal, eventually convinced by his tenant Vernon Driscoll, a salty retired Miami cop, that a fire at Deal's fourplex apartment building was arson, finds himself caught in a dangerous maze populated by Cuban exiles, big sugar interests and a secret federal agency. One exile, Vincente Luis Torreno, is illegally-and lethally-using his access to exiles' funds and to vicious ex-wrestler Coco Morales to become the leading sugar planter in Florida. Deal and Driscoll's investigation of the arson, which soon has them tangling with Torreno and Coco, leads in time to a violent climax at a lakeside retreat populated by predatory lungfish, huge rodents and a hungry jungle cat. The pacing is brisk, the dialogue crisp and most of the characterizations colorful, but Deal himself has a grievously annoying flaw: a bathetic sense of guilt that every so often stops the narrative cold to allow him to wallow. Fortunately, comic relief is offered by Driscoll ("Why don't you go roll around in broken glass," he asks Deal after one angst-ridden outburst), who, by novel's end, has opened his own detective agency. Readers will no doubt look forward to further adventures with this cheerily vulgar PI; their tolerance for Deal, however, likely will depend on his ability to get a grip. Author tour.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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