Dark Men: A Silver Bear Thriller

Overview

Columbus has retired. Or so he thinks. He and his lover, Risina, a mysterious rare-book dealer, have fled to a tiny Italian coastal village where no one knows their names. And yet Columbus has trouble letting go. His paranoia is justified when one day, he notices a suspicious man following him, and within days, he?s back in Chicago trying to figure out why his old fence has been kidnapped and maybe even killed. The ransom note left behind demands Columbus by name. The Silver Bear must now sever this last link ...
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Overview

Columbus has retired. Or so he thinks. He and his lover, Risina, a mysterious rare-book dealer, have fled to a tiny Italian coastal village where no one knows their names. And yet Columbus has trouble letting go. His paranoia is justified when one day, he notices a suspicious man following him, and within days, he’s back in Chicago trying to figure out why his old fence has been kidnapped and maybe even killed. The ransom note left behind demands Columbus by name. The Silver Bear must now sever this last link with his dark past if he and Risina are to ever have hope at a new life. Yet Risinia seems to show a remarkable knack for the kill herself . . . and perhaps there won’t be a chance for turning back.
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Editorial Reviews

Dick Lochte
“Columbus is a hit man intriguing enough to take his place beside those created by Graham Green and Lawrence block. Distinguished by the poetry of violence.”
Publishers Weekly
At the start of Haas’s solid third Silver Bear thriller (after 2009’s Columbus), the assassin known as Columbus, who spent his youth “incarcerated in a juvenile detention center” outside Boston, has retired to a seaside Italian village with his rare-book dealer lover, Risina Lorenzana. Then Columbus learns that his former fence, Archibald Grant, has been kidnapped, and that a ransom note demands Columbus’s return to the U.S. as part of the deal. Back in the U.S., Columbus encounters a collector of skulls who is somehow connected to the abduction; kills a man who’s contracted to eliminate the skull collector; watches as an associate of Grant is murdered by a falling scaffold; and becomes involved with a hit man named Spilatro, whose specialty is concocting “death by accident”—and who warns him that “dark men,” CIA operatives, are behind all the mayhem. Poetic prose helps propel a plot that loses some steam toward the end, but Haas keeps readers guessing throughout. (Dec.)
Kirkus Reviews
Haas (The Silver Bear, 2008, etc.) brings his cold, canny professional hit man back in this cold, canny thriller. The author opens with his lethally efficient Columbus, aka the Silver Bear, secluded in an Italian seaside village, hoping to retire from his lucrative work as a hired killer. Risina, his lover, who knows how to cook as well as kill, has "shown him what life could be without a Glock." Of course, in the thriller genre, a killer's retirement means that another bloody junket awaits. And indeed, on a visit to a nearby city, Columbus confronts a man who had been following him. The man, Smoke, hands Columbus a note: "Bring Columbus home," it demands. "Or you'll get Grant back in a way you won't like." This threat against Grant, the Bear's boss, sends Columbus into a maze of fast kills and treachery. At his side follows Risina, insisting she can learn to kill as ruthlessly and remorselessly as Columbus. Her subsequent trial by blood and terror largely defines her, an aspect some readers will find thin, if not objectionable, characterization. Following a trail that leads to Chicago, Kansas City and Connecticut--and to a man who uses skulls as bargaining chips--Columbus demonstrates his deadly touch, his asides to Risina and to himself constituting a primer on how to excel at the fast kill. He's particularly masterful at ferreting out wedges that get people to worm on their associates. In one of the book's more affecting passages, he strong-arms a woman to recall her life with a man she never suspected was a pro killer. When a falling scaffolding takes Smoke's life, Columbus knows the collapse was not an accident. Connecting clues from the accident and from the woman's narrative, he realizes he faces "dark men," a particular kind of foe he's not used to fighting. Intricate and fascinating. Heartless Columbus offers cold comfort on dark nights.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781605983905
  • Publisher: Pegasus
  • Publication date: 11/14/2012
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.70 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Derek Haasis the author of the novelsThe Silver BearandColumbus. Derek co-wrote the screenplays for3:10 to Yuma, starring Russell Crowe and Christian Bale, andWanted, starring James McAvoy and Angelina Jolie. His latest film,The Double, starred Richard Gere and Martin Sheen.Derek lives in Los Angeles.
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