Dead Man's Dance

Dead Man's Dance

by Robert Ferrigno
     
 

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A ruthless pair of quirky, sociopathic killers-for-hire. A father figure returned from the grave. A series of killings so cleverly executed, murder is not suspected in some instances - much less a connection to other deaths. These elements and more combust in Dead Man's Dance. See more details below

Overview

A ruthless pair of quirky, sociopathic killers-for-hire. A father figure returned from the grave. A series of killings so cleverly executed, murder is not suspected in some instances - much less a connection to other deaths. These elements and more combust in Dead Man's Dance.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The opening scene of Ferrigno's third crime novel (after The Cheshire Moon) is a reminder of how good and tough this West Coast-cool author can be: as two killers invade the home of California Superior Court Judge Teddy Krammerson, the judge meets death with dignity, but not before slamming one of his attackers in the face with a telephone ("`You have no idea how good that felt,'' he said... breathing hard, his eyes calm as smoke. `Opportunity knocks... I always answer.'"). In the face of rampant evil, the judge's stepson, investigative reporter Quinn, shows similar courage as he digs into the murder. The web of deceit involving new ripples from long-ago crimes that Quinn uncovers is so tangled, so ultra-Chandleresque, that the reader yearns for some violent action to cut it clean. But there's no relief until the final chapters, when Ferrigno thrusts Quinn into two shockingly bloody battles. Along the way, a gallery of memorable characters-the two killers, eccentric and scary angels of death; their wealthy, corrupt patron; Quinn's mysterious family friend who reappears after 28 years in prison-boost the sleuthing. And an affecting subplot about Quinn's loyalties in love-he is torn between his girlfriend and his estranged wife and daughter-enriches the tale. But finally, poor pacing and spaghetti plotting render what could have been a minor crime classic into just an above-average thriller. 150,000 first printing; $250,000 ad/promo; Literary Guild and Mystery Guild featured alternates. (July)
Library Journal
Ferrigno (The Horse Latitudes, LJ 2/1/90) continues the adventures of investigative reporter Quinn. Judge Teddy Krammerson, Quinn's stepfather, is brutally murdered, apparently by neo-Nazis. At the same time, Teddy's old friend, Joe "Steps" Sarducci, has been released from prison, much to Quinn's surprise; his stepfather had told him that Joe had died 28 years ago. Teddy's murderers are Rick, a flamboyant, psychotic hairdresser, and quietly intense Hugo, who happens to be Joe's driver. As Quinn investigates the murder, he discovers other connected deaths and finds himself looking into his own past-at his tenuous relationship with Teddy, at the identity of Joe Steps, and at Ellis Fontayne, a powerful defense attorney whom Quinn recognizes from his childhood. Good characterizations mark this light, entertaining novel. Recommended for fiction collections.-Stacie Browne Chandler, Newbury Coll. Lib., Brookline, Mass.
Emily Melton
Quinn, an investigative reporter, has never known his real father, but his stepfather, Judge Teddy Krammerson, has taken good care of him, even after Quinn's mother deserted the two when Quinn was just a kid. Now Teddy is dead, viciously murdered, the police say, by a gang of neo-Nazi skinheads. Quinn isn't so sure who killed Teddy, especially after Teddy's closest buddy and Quinn's idol, Joe "Steps" Staducci--who Teddy claimed died 30 years ago--shows up right after Teddy's murder. Joe claims he's been in prison for three decades, but Quinn gets suspicious when Joe is reluctant to talk about why he wound up in the slammer in the first place. Once Quinn starts pulling at loose ends, he finds a closet full of long-buried secrets. Ferrigno, author of the very successful" Horse Latitudes" (1990), writes a slick, sleek story that races to a slam-bang ending, and even though there are some rough edges--plotwise, it's tough to keep the motives, sidebars, subplots, and bad guys all straight--this one rates above-average marks. Not only that, it's sure to profit from a 150,000-copy first printing and a $250,000 advertising budget.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780399140259
Publisher:
Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
Publication date:
06/27/1995
Pages:
384
Product dimensions:
6.22(w) x 9.42(h) x 1.20(d)

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Robert B. Parker
"First-rate."

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