The Death and Life of Bobby Z

Winslow, Don

Published by Alfred A. Knopf, 1997
ISBN 10: 0679454292 / ISBN 13: 9780679454298
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First printing of the author's first book. Fine in a near fine dustjacket with minute edgewear. Remainder mark to bottom edge. Not priceclipped. Bookseller Inventory #

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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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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Death and Life of Bobby Z
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf
Publication Date: 1997
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: Fine
Edition: First Edition.

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