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The Death and Life of Bobby Z: A Novel

Winslow, Don

2,470 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0679454292 / ISBN 13: 9780679454298
Published by Alfred A. Knopf Inc., Westminister, Maryland, U.S.A., 1997
Used Condition: Fine Soft cover
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About this Item

Near fine blue trade paperback. Light use. (1997), 8vo, 259pp. [1], "A Mexican drug lord offers to free a DEA agent in return for an American gangster who is in jail in Thailand. In fact the gangster is dead, but the Mexican does not know this. Convicted killer Tim Kearney is offered his freedom by the DEA if he will impersonate the gangster and Kearney jumps at the opportunity, only to discover the Mexican wanted the gangster free so he could kill him. Now, suddenly, Tim is running for his life -- from drug dealers, henchmen, bikers, Indians and cops, all chasing him down across southern California's deserts and mountains straight to the dead-end edge of the ocean. By the author of While Drowning in the Desert." oclc. Bookseller Inventory # 003304

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Death and Life of Bobby Z: A Novel

Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf Inc., Westminister, Maryland, U.S.A.

Publication Date: 1997

Binding: Paperback

Book Condition:Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: No Jacket

Edition: Reprint Edition

About this title

Synopsis:

When Tim Kearney draws a license plate across the throat of a Hell's Angel, he's pretty much a dead man. It's his third crime and, according to California law, that gives him "life without the possibility of parole."  Killing a Hell's Angel also makes him a dead man on any prison yard in California. That's when the DEA makes Kearney an offer: impersonate the late, legendary dope smuggler Bobby Z so that the agency can trade him to Don Huertero -- northern Mexico's drug kingpin -- for a captured DEA agent. Tim Kearney bears an uncanny resemblance to Bobby Z, and, with some training, he might be able to pass.

Or not. But, really, what choice does he have?

So, he's off to a compound in the middle of a desert that's been designed by Huertero's number-two man to look like the Arab fort in his favorite movie, Beau Jeste ("The Santa Fe thing had been done to death.") Kearney's surprised when he meets Bobby Z's old flame, Elizabeth, who was never mentioned in his training, and her son, who she claims belongs to him. It's a short vacation by the pool before Kearney's on the run from drug lords, bikers, Indians, and cops ... and the kid's along for the ride. Some of the pursuers want Bobby Z, and some want the considerably less legendary Tim K. Whether he pulls it off, whether he can keep the kid and the girl and his life, makes for a hilarious, fast-paced, and truly touching novel.

Review:

Here's a thriller with everything going for it--a great plot gimmick, excellent action and sex scenes, beautifully-realized characters on every level, and a crisp, pungent, in-your-face writing style that rarely stops to let you catch your breath. Nobody has actually seen the legendary Laguna Beach surfer-turned-drug dealer Bobby Zacharias for years, so a nasty federal agent thinks he has a chance of passing off a lookalike in a hostage switch with a Mexican drug lord. Bobby Z's double, a career screw-up named Tim Kearney, takes the deal because it means a chance to get out of prison--where the Hell's Angels want to terminate him. But when the switch backfires, everyone in the world is after the fake Bobby Z--who takes off with the 6-year-old son of the real Bobby on a cinematic, fully satisfying run for their lives.

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