Publisher: Carroll & Graf
Publication Date: 2005
Book Condition: Fine
Dust Jacket Condition: As New
Signed: Signed by Author(s)
Edition: First Edition.
Signed by Author 0786714794 This hardcover book is Fine, being square and tight. The boards and spine have no wear with pristine lettering. The pages and endpages are clean, with no markings or folds. The dustjacket is As New. Original Price is intact. Not ex-lib. No remainder mark. This copy is signed by the Author on the title page without inscription. Bookseller Inventory # 006928
Synopsis: Reese Waters is headstrong, principled, and a bit naive. The former bus driver and now ex-con merely wants to do the right thing by prison buddy Peter Rizzo. He just doesn't expect the right thing to entail $50,000 in cash, a funeral, the mean-spirited schemes of Rizzo's congenitally greedy ex-wife, confrontations with Mafia consigliere Jimmy Valentine, two hit men, a Nation of Islam splinter group, and the homicide investigation of two New York police detectives. Reese is barely a day out of Fishkill Penitentiary before his world is spinning crazily out of control because everybody's after the money, which is all at once a divorce settlement, an unhonored debt, a ransom demand, a shakedown, a killer's fee, and a mere fifty g's. With dynamite dialogue, high-octane action, and hardboiled humor, what author Charlie Stella's cheapskates will do for the money gets as wild as the ride of a runaway bus loose on Second Avenue.
From Publishers Weekly:
It takes a finely tuned ear to write dialogue that rings true, and Stella (Charlie Opera, etc.) has it. With his hapless crooks and wry humor, he belongs in line behind Elmore Leonard and Donald E. Westlake. Former New York City bus driver Reese Waters, a naïve black man unjustly convicted for car theft, becomes friends with his prison cellmate, Pete Rizzo, after they protect each other from assaults by, alternately, Mafia-connected and Black Muslim inmates. The day they're both released, Pete plans to collect $50,000 he says his ex-wife Janice owes him, but he's shot to death. Reese determines to find the killer, get the money and bury his friend. As Reese, assisted by a former bus driver buddy and new lady friend, weaves through New York, he unknowingly interferes with a merry round-about of overlapping plots involving the cops, the FBI, Janice's skinflint father, Pete's obnoxious family and assorted, mostly inept, Mafioso, among many others. As the title suggests, most of them live on the cheap; the worst is Janice's father, who steals packets of artificial sweeteners from restaurants and buys discounted damaged pastries. Reese accomplishes his goal in a breathless finale that Stella orchestrates from seven different viewpoints. Readers will eagerly await the next book from this talented author.
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