Angry Moonby Terrill Lankford
Ry Caulder is a hit man; his skill at murder for hire is supreme, his code of ethics is precise, and his reputation is legendary. But Caulder is burned out and wants to quit the business. He can no longer rationalize what he does for a living, but the ties that bind are tight--Caulder's one last job is to hut down and kill his mentor, the man who brought him into… See more details below
Ry Caulder is a hit man; his skill at murder for hire is supreme, his code of ethics is precise, and his reputation is legendary. But Caulder is burned out and wants to quit the business. He can no longer rationalize what he does for a living, but the ties that bind are tight--Caulder's one last job is to hut down and kill his mentor, the man who brought him into the business twenty years before. A deadly game of cat and mouse plays out between these two. With spectacular apparent successes, Caulder finds his prey survives--inexplicably. Caulder is left in the position of battling with both his conscience and his superhuman foe. In the course of the action he discovers the truth behind the mystery of his mentor's indestructibility and unlocks the door to his own future.
This very clever thriller is part Conrad's HEART OF DARKNESS recast as a gangster novel (a hitman is sent after a freelancer who seems to have gone insane) and part homage to the classic Universal horror films of the 1940s (the freelancer has a very special, and very frightening secret) - while at the same time, it's entirely original. Fans of gangster novels will enjoy Lankford's take on professional criminals with their own set of rules, their own definitions of right and wrong (think THE GODFATHER) and readers of supernatural thrillers will appreciate Lankford's variations on a familiar theme. This is Lankford's second novel, after SHOOTERS (BKL Jan 97), and it establishes the author as a first class storyteller, a master of spine-tingling excitement and unexpected plot twists. Libraries with large mystery or horror collections may want to stock more than one copy.
Ry Caulder is your classic professional hit man. He won't take domestic contracts, he won't injure innocent bystanders, he doesn't get emotionally involved in his work, he fondly recalls killing Jimmy Hoffa. He's just executed Nate Daniels, a former protégé who talked too much to the Justice Department, and now all he wants is for his mob employers, James Baxter and Mike Del Monaco, to pay him. But Baxter and Del Monaco hold back half his fee until he's taken care of one little extra job: exterminating Caulder's own legendary teacher Fredrickson, the rumors of whose death have been confounded by some horrific photographs indicating that Fredrickson, freelancing for Baxter's West Coast rival Camilo Vargas, has wiped out 14 Baxter soldiers at Ensenada. (In fact, Baxter even suggests that Caulder has gone over to Vargas as wellas if his code of ethics would ever stand for that kind of behavior.) Caulder doesn't want to go up against his crafty old mentor, but Fredrickson keeps goading him to play the gameand keeps threatening Stephanie Taylor, the downtrodden seamstress he's involved withtill Caulder finally gives in and plants some plastique in Fredrickson's Mercedes. Next day, he finds Fredrickson watering his front lawn. Frustrated but undeterred, he stakes out the target's place and blows his head off. Fredrickson goes out barhopping. Caulder perforates Fredrickson on a crowded sidewalk. Fredrickson hails a cab and leaves the scene, only to confront harried Caulder (who's by now getting considerable attention from Baxter and the cops) with revelations about why he's so hard to kill, all dished up in prose so overripe it's a salmonella hazard.
In a rare quiet moment, Caulder reflects that Stephanie would still love him even "if he had told her he was the bastard mutant son of Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini." He wouldn't have been far off if he had.
- Doherty, Tom Associates, LLC
- Publication date:
- Edition description:
- 1 MASS MKT
- Product dimensions:
- 4.21(w) x 6.78(h) x 0.87(d)
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I have now read all of TLL's work, and I have to say this was my least favorite. Werewolf meets Mafia hit man, give me a break. An hey, the thing that was so good in his other books, namely the inside look at hollywood wasn't even present, so this book had nothing for me. Please don't let this book scare you away from TLL's work though, earthquake weather was good and shooters was great. looking forward to the next book!