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All it takes is a few underhanded moves by a tough ex-cop named Eppick to pull thief John Dortmunder into a game he never wanted to play. With no choice, he musters his always-game gang and they set out on a perilous treasure hunt for a long-lost gold and jewel-studded chess set once intended as a birthday gift for the last Romanov czar, which unfortunately reached Russia after that party was over. From the moment Dortmunder reaches for his first pawn, he faces insurmountable odds. The purloined past of this precious set is destined to confound any strategy he finds on the board. Success is not inevitable with John Dortmunder leading the attack, but he's nothing if not persistent, and some gambit or other might just stumble into a winning move.
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Richard Stark (1933-2008), wrote dozens of novels under his own name and a rainbow of other pseudonyms. Many of his books have been adapted for film, most notably The Hunter, which became the 1967 noir Point Blank and the 1999 smash Payback.From Booklist:
*Starred Review* Perennially star-crossed thief John Dortmunder is blackmailed by Johnny Eppick, a retired New York City cop. After careful study, Eppick has concluded that Dortmunder is the finest thief not already in jail. So, unless Dortmunder steals an 800-pound gold-and-jewel-encrusted chess set intended for Russia's last czar, he's off to prison again. But the job, in Dortmunder's very professional opinion, is impossible. The chess set is in the basement vault of a Manhattan bank building, and it's been there--safe--for 60 years. Between a rock and a hard place, Dortmunder is even more hangdog and dour than usual, and that translates to especially fertile ground for the fourteenth caper-gone-wrong novel in this delightful series. Fans of the fatalistic crook will be happy to see Dortmunder's quirky crew back again and will revel in their pre-Copernican view of a Manhattan-based solar system. Readers new to the Dortmunder series will simply laugh, then head to the library for more. Westlake is a national literary treasure, and his latest effort only enhances his value. Neocon pundit William Kristol recently wrote that Westlake deserves the Nobel Prize for Literature. The neocons haven't been right about much lately, but Kristol just may be on to something this time. Thomas Gaughan
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Book Description Blackstone Audiobooks, 2007. MP3 CD. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P11079274764X